Ucchittha-Bhatta Jataka (#212)

temple painting of Ucchittha-Bhatta Jataka

The Bodhisatta was once a street-begging acrobat. One day while a brahmin was away from home, his wife’s lover came over. Before her lover left, she served him some rice with curry. The wife kept watch at the door while he was eating and she saw her husband heading home. She rushed her lover down into the storeroom and piled some new rice on his plate, pretending it was a meal waiting for her husband. But he noticed it was hot on top and cold below and asked his wife what was going on. She did not speak a word in reply. The Bodhisatta, who had been sitting outside the house the whole time, knew what was happening, so he told the brahmin about the man in the storeroom. The brahmin berated and beat his wife and her lover and warned them to never do it again.

In the Lifetime of the Buddha

One of the Buddha’s disciples began longing for his wife from his lay life. The brahmin and his wife were earlier births of this disciple and his wife, and the Buddha told him this story from his past so he knew that she had previously been wicked and caused him misery, and he should not crave her now.

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