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The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at

No. 132.


"Wise counsels heeding."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana about the Sutta concerning the Temptation by the Daughters of Māra 1 at the Goat-herds' Banyan-tree. The Master quoted the Sutta, beginning with its opening words:--

In all their dazzling beauty on they came,
--Craving and Hate and Lust. Like cotton-down
Before the wind, the Master made them fly.

p. 289

After he had recited the Sutta right through to the end, the Brethren met together in the Hall of Truth and spoke of how the Daughters of Māra drew near in all their myriad charms yet failed to seduce the All-Enlightened One. For he did not as much as open his eyes to look upon them, so marvellous was he! Entering the hall, the Master asked, and was told, what they were discussing. "Brethren," said he, "it is no marvel that I did not so much as look upon the Daughters of Māra in this life when I have put sin from me and have won enlightenment. In former days when I was but in quest of Wisdom, when sin still dwelt within me, I found strength not to gaze even upon loveliness divine by way of lust in violation of virtue; and by that continence I won a kingdom." So saying, he told this story of the past.


Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was the youngest of a hundred brothers, and his adventures are to be detailed here, as above [470] in the Takkasilā-Jātaka 1. When the kingdom had been offered to the Bodhisatta by the people, and when he had accepted it and been anointed king, the people decorated the town like a city of the gods and the royal palace like the palace of Indra. Entering the city the Bodhisatta passed into the spacious hall of the palace and there seated himself in all his godlike beauty on his jewelled throne beneath the white umbrella of his Kingship. Round him in glittering splendour stood his ministers and brahmins and nobles, whilst sixteen thousand nautch girls, fair as the nymphs of heaven, sang and danced and made music, till the palace was loud with sounds like the ocean when the storm bursts in thunder on its waters 2. Gazing round on the pomp of his royal state, the Bodhisatta thought how, had he looked upon the charms of the ogresses, he would have perished miserably, nor ever have lived to see his present magnificence, which he owed to his following the counsels of the Pacceka Buddhas. And as these thoughts filled his heart, his emotion found vent in these verses:--

Wise counsels heeding, firm in my resolve,
With dauntless heart still holding on my course,
I shunned the Sirens' dwellings and their snares,
And found a great salvation in my need.

[471] So ended the lesson which these verses taught. And the Great Being ruled his kingdom in righteousness, and abounded in charity and other good works till in the end he passed away to fare according to his deserts.


His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "I was the prince of those days who went to Takkasilā and won a kingdom."


288:1 See pp. 78 and 79 of Volume I. of the text for the temptation. I have not been able to trace the Palobhana Sutta referred to.

289:1 Apparently the reference is to No. 96. For a like confusion of title see note 1, p. 112.

289:2 Or is the meaning 'like the vault of heaven filled with thunder-clouds'? Cf. arṇava in the Rigveda.

Next: No. 133. Ghatāsana-Jātaka