Telovada Jataka (#246)

temple painting of Telovada Jataka

The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic who lived in the Himalayas. One time while down in a town to get salt and seasoning he went on an alms round and a rich man decided to annoy him. He took the Bodhisatta to his house and served him a meal with fish. When the meal was over the rich man told the Bodhisatta he had killed the fish especially for him and accused the Bodhisatta of doing wrong by eating it. The Bodhisatta answered that only the killing is wrong, it is okay to eat any local food given by people.

In the Lifetime of the Buddha

One time after a general converted to Buddhism he offered a large meal to the Buddha and several of his disciples that included meat from an ox killed especially for the Buddha. The general’s former religious leader (the rich man was an earlier birth of him), criticized the Buddha for accepting the meat.

Later when he heard some of his disciples discussing this, the Buddha told them this story so they knew that the religious leader had done the same thing in the past.

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