Vina-Thuna Jataka (#232)

temple painting of Vina-Thuna Jataka

The Bodhisatta was once a merchant. When it came time for one of his sons to marry, the Bodhisatta chose the daughter of a wealthy family. To celebrate the engagement, her family gave honor to a right royal bull, a ceremony she had never seen before. When she later saw a hunchback walking down the street, she figured that since the best cow had a hump, he must be a great man. So she gathered her valuables and ran off with him. They walked away from the city throughout the night. In the morning, he was overcome by stomach pain and lay down alongside the road. The Bodhisatta was traveling to the city to get his son’s bride-to-be and saw her sitting next to the road with the ailing hunchback. He was able to persuade her to come with him for the marriage.

In the Lifetime of the Buddha

The bride-to-be was an earlier birth of a young lady whose family honored a right royal bull at their home, a ceremony she had never seen before. Later, she saw a hunchback and figured he must be royal like the bull, which also had a hump on its back. So she gathered her valuables, put on a disguise, and eloped with him.

News of this spread around the town, and one day the Buddha heard some of his disciples discussing it. He told them this story so they knew that it was not the first time she had fallen in love with a hunchback.

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