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Vidhra Jtaka

(jtaka 548)



The Royal Asiatic Society.

[London, The Royal Asiatic Society]


{Scanned And Edited By Christopher M. Weimer, April 2002}

{circumflexes Represent Macrons In This File}

p. 441

Art. Xi.--
\"Vidhra Jtaka". (No. 548 of Ceylon List.) [From the Burmese.] By R. F. St. Andrew St. John, M.r.a.s.

day, when the disciples were discussing the various forms of wisdom peculiar to the Buddha, the Lord came into the hall and inquired what they were discussing. On being informed, he said: "Rabans, there will be no difficulty in understanding how I can now so easily overcome the opinions of Brahmans, princes, and others, bringing them to a right frame of mind, when you hear how, in a former existence as the high-born Vidhra, on the summit of Mount K.lgiri, I overcame and subdued the virulence of the Rakshasa Pu.n.naka." He then related as follows:--

Long ago, in Kururajja"m, in the city of Indapattanagara"m, there reigned a king whose name was Dhanacaya Korabya, whose prime minister, Vidhra, expounded the law so well and sweetly that everyone was attracted to him, and all the rulers of Jambudvpa came to get his decisions. Now in the city of Brnasi there were four rich Brahmans who were friends, and they, having determined to renounce the lusts of this world, went into Himavanta. Having dwelt there some time as hermits, they came into the inbabited country in search of salt and pickles, and at last arrived at Campnagara"m, in the country of A"nga, and dwelt in the king's garden. The rich people of the city, seeing that their deportment was correct, undertook their maintenance, and begged them to remain. One of these hermits, in a state of ecstatic meditation, used to go daily to the country of the Ngas, another to Tvatisma, another to the country of the Ga.lunas, and the fourth to the park called Migjina, which belonged to King Dhanacaya Korabya, at Indapattanagara"m. On

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returning, each praised the delights of these places to his particular supporters, so that each desired, when the time of change came, to go to these places.

When they at length died, by reason of the good works they had performed, one became Sakko, another became king of the Ngas, another became king of the Ga.lunas in a forest of silk-cotton trees, and the fourth took birth with the chief queen of King Dhanacaya Korabya. At his father's death Prince Korabya succeeded to the throne.

King Korabya was passionately fond of dice, but abiding by the instructions of his minister Vidhra, observed his fasts and religious duties. One fast-day, in order to be quiet, he went into his garden. Sakko, the Nga king, and the Ga.luna king, also came to that garden to spend the fast-day in quiet meditation; and, in the cool of the evening, all four met at the auspicious water-tank and recognized each other. Sakko sat on the auspicious stone slab, and the others seated themselves in suitable places.

Sakko then asked: "Which of us four kings, do you think, has performed the most excellent duty?"

Varu.na, the Nga king, answered: "I think mine is the best. The Ga.lunas generally take our lives, and yet, when I saw their king, I displayed no anger."

The King of the Ga.lunas said: "This Nga king is the food in which we most delight, and yet, though oppressed by hunger, I did him no harm."

Sakko said: "I have left the wonderful pleasures and delights of Tvatimsa and come down to this earth to keep my fast."

Then said King Korabya: "I have left the delights of my palace and sixty thousand concubines and come to fast in this garden."

Thus the four kings extolled their own piety.

Then said the three kings: "O King Korabya, have you no wise man in your dominions who can dispel our doubts in this matter?" King Dhanacaya Korabya answered: "I have a wise minister named Vidhra, and he will probably be able to do so."

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So they all agreed to go to the Judgment Hall, and, having caused Vidhra to take his seat on a splendid couch, stated their case to him.

Vidhra (after questioning them) replied: "O kings, your words are all good, and there is no fault in them. Wise men say that, like an axle well fitted to the hub of a wheel, those persons who are longsuffering, who do no ill to obtain food, who avoid lust, and have no anxiety, are they who in this world have extinguished evil" (Sama.na"m).

On hearing this, the four kings gave great praise to Vidhra, and said: "Indeed, thou art a religious person. There is no one equal to thee. Thou canst decide clearly, as the worker in ivory cuts through an elephant's tusk with a saw."

Sakko presented him with a valuable cloth. The King of the Ga.lunas gave him a golden flower garland. The King of the Ngas presented him with a priceless ruby; and King Korabya gave him one thousand milch cows, ten bulls, ten elephants, ten horses, ten chariots with Sindh horses, and the revenue of sixteen villages.

Now the King of the Ngas had a queen, whose name was Vimal, and, when he returned, she noticed that the ruby he usually wore round his neck was gone, so she said: "My Lord, where have you left your ruby?" He answered: "Lady, I wished to do honour to Vidhra, the son of Canda, the Brahman, who decided a case for me, and gave it to him. Sakko gave him a cloth. The Ga.luna king gave him a gold garland, and King Korabya also gave gifts."

Queen Vimal asked whether he was one who preached the law; and on being told that there was no one equal to him, she thought thus: "If I were to say--'My Lord, I want to hear him preach the law: bring him here,' the King would not bring him. I will say that I want this wise man's heart, and, by worrying the King, get what I want." So she went into her inner chamber, and, giving notice to her attendants, went to sleep. On that day the Nga king, at the time when the Queen and concubines usually came to pay their respects to him, missing Vimal, asked where she

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was. They told him she could not come, because she was ill. Hearing this, he got up from his seat, and, going to her couch and stroking her with his hand, said: "Lady, you are like a withered leaf, and your body emaciated. What ails you?"

Queen Vimal answered: "O Lord of the Ngas, in the land of men if women do not get what they want they suffer great pain. I have a strong desire to obtain the heart of this wise Vidhra, lawfully and not by force. When I have obtained his heart I shall be well. If I do not, I shall shortly die."

The King answered: "Lady, if you wanted the sun, or the moon, there would be no difficulty. Even the kings of the island of Jambudvpa find a difficulty in getting to see him. How, then, can he be brought here?"

Hearing this, the Queen turned her back on the King, saying: "If I cannot get the heart of Vidhra, may I die on this very bed."

When the King found she would not answer him he went into his chamber and threw himself on his couch, saying: "Who can bring Vidhra's heart? Verily the Queen will die if she cannot get it."

Just then the Princess Irandhat came, magnificently dressed, to pay her respects to her father, and, seeing him so unhappy, said: "My father, you seem very unhappy: why is it?"

Her father replied: "My daughter, your mother wants the heart of the wise Vidhra; but who can bring him to Nga-land? Dear daughter, you are the only person who can do it. If you wish to save your mother's life, search for a husband who can bring him." The King was so wrapped up in his desire to preserve his Queen's life, that he spoke thus shamefully to her, telling her to get a husband.

Irandhat, having pacified her father, went in to see her mother, and, after comforting her, dressed herself in all her

[1. Irandhat: is this a form of Arundhat, one of the stars, and said to be the wife of the seven Rishis?]

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ornaments and, that very night, took her way through the water to the upper world, and went to a place in the Himavanta near a river where there is a mountain called K.la. That mountain is sixty yjans in height, and entirely composed of black rocks. Having gone thither, she collected a number of beautiful flowers, and strewed them all over the mountain, and made it look as if it were a heap of rubies; she spread a bed of flowers on the summit, and began to dance and sing, saying--

Ngas, Devas, and Gandhabbas,

Kinnaras, and all who dwell

In this Himavanta forest,

Stay, and list to what I tell:

Lives Vidhra, wise and gracious,

In the courts of Kuru's Lord;

Who Vidhra's heart will bring me

Shall receive me as reward.

Just then Pu.n.naka, the nephew of the Deva Vessava.n (Kuvera), riding on his horse Manomaya, was on his way to the assembly of the Rakshasas, and heard her song. As she had once been his wife in a former existence, as soon as he heard her he was smitten with delight, and, stopping his horse, said: "Lady, by the power of my wisdom, I will bring you Vidhra's heart. Be not afraid. You shall be my wife."

On hearing this, Irandhat replied: "Go at once and demand me of my father."

Overcome with love, Pu.n.naka dismounted and stretched out his hand to put Irandhat on his horse, but she drew back, saying:


Back, Pu.n.naka, nor take me by the hand;

I am no orphan to be brought to shame:

[1. The gta of Irandhat's song have been left out, except the first line, and only the Bur. translation given.]

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Varu.na, lord of serpents, is my sire,

And Vimal, my mother, his chief queen.

If, then, to wed me be thy firm desire,

Demand me from them in accustomed form.

Hearing this, Pu.n.naka at once proceeded to the Serpent King's palace, and addressed him thus:--


Lord of the Ngas, list unto my suit,

And give Irandhat to me for wife.

Ages have passed since first our lots were linked:

I love her still, and she to me inclines.

Take as her price one hundred elephants,

One hundred steeds, and e'en one hundred carts

Piled with the seven gems, to which are yoked

One hundred mules: an offering far too small.

But who could name a price for one so fair?


O Raksha Prince, Vessava.n's nephew true,

Fitted in every way to be my son-in-law

Art thou; but not in haste may this be done:

A hurried marriage ofttimes causes woe.

First with my queen and kith I must consult.

Irandhat is but a child, and 'tis

The nature of all womenfolk to pine

When parted from their home. Perchance she, too,

May grieve when taken hence. Wait here awhile.

(He enters the palace and addresses Queen Vimal.)

Queen of my queens, my well-loved Vimal,

There waits without, in haste to wed our child

Irandhat, the darling of our heart,

Vessava.n's nephew, chief of all his hosts.

His gifts and words are fair. What thinkest thou?

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Lord of this widespread realm, we need no gifts:

Irandhat, whose beauty glads all hearts

Cannot be bought with gems: 'tis he alone

Who brings Vidhra's heart shall wed the maid.

"Varu.na" (coming out).

Leader of hosts, if our consent you'd win,

Bring us the "wise man's" heart, thy lawful spoil.


Some are called wise and others are called fools;

But on this point all men are not agreed.

How shall I know the wise man from the fool?


What! hast not heard of Rja Korabya,

Who reigns at Indapattan? and of him

Who guides with perfect wisdom his affairs,

All-wise Vidhra? 'Tis his heart we want.

Pu.n.naka ordered his attendant to get ready his horse Manomaya, and, urged by his great love for Irandhat, having smoothed out his beard and hair and arranged his clothes, mounted and set off on his way to the dwelling of his uncle Kuvera (Vessava.n).

On arriving there he recited some stanzas descriptive of the beauty and wealth of Kuvera's city. He recited these verses because he did not dare to carry off Vidhra without his uncle's permission. Kuvera, however, was deciding a dispute between two devas, and did not attend to him, so Pu.n.naka sat down near the deva who had won his case. Kuvera, turning to the deva, gave him an order to go and take possession, so Pu.n.naka took the order as if it were given to himself, and went off with him. On the way he thought thus: "Vidhra's attendants are very

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numerous; I shall not be able to take him unawares. King Korabya is passionately fond of dice. I will win him from Korabya by a cast of the dice. King Korabya is very wealthy, and will not play with me for anything of small value. In the hill of Vepulla, near Rjagriha, there is a ruby fit to be worn by Cakkavatti monarchs; it is a ruby of great power. I will overcome him by means of that ruby." He accordingly went to Rjagriha, in the country of A"nga.

(The translator here remarks: "Why is it said that Rjagriha is in A"nga, when it is in Magadha?"--It is because at that time the King of A"nga ruled over Magadha.)

Ascending to the top of Mount Vepulla, he came to the place where that wonderful ruby which is called Manohara (Captivating) is guarded by 100,000 Kumbha.n.das. Terrifying them by his terrible glances, he took the ruby and pursued his way to Indapattanagara"m. On arriving there, he got off his horse and left it in concealment near the city. Taking the form of a young man, he approached King Korabya and addressed him thus:--


"In this assembly of chiefs, who will play with me for an excellent stake? From which of you shall I be able to win something of value? Who of you wants to win my incomparable treasure?"


"Youth, what is your country? Your speech is not that of Kururj, and your appearance is more comely than that of the people of my country. Tell me your race and name."


"King, I bear the noble title of Kaccya.no. As for my parents and race, they dwell in the city of Klacampanagara"m in A"nga; and I have come to this country to cast dice."

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"Since you have come here to gamble, what have you brought with you? If you have nothing, will not the princes who overcome you make you their slave? How, then, do you propose to play against princes?"


"My lord king, my stake is a ruby. It is of immense value--more valuable than any other. It brings whatever you desire, and is called Manohara. That is not my only property: I possess a steed that can drive away all my enemies. I will play for both of them. Let the winner take them."


"Youth, what can you do with your one ruby and horse? We kings have many such rubies, and swift steeds innumerable."

(Here ends the canto called "Doha.la.")

* * * * * *


"My lord king, why do you speak thus? My horse is worth a thousand, and my ruby is worth a thousand. Though your Majesty may have horses, they are not like mine. Just look at the qualities of my horse." Saying thus, he mounted Manomaya and rode round the city wall so fast that the city appeared to be surrounded by

[1. The ruby was not a red one, but a Ve.luriyam.

2. Doha.la, "longing for"; more especially applied to that of women in a certain condition.]

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a band of horses, which could not be distinguished, and even Pu.n.naka himself was not distinguishable, but the red girdle on his waist was like the whirling of a firebrand. Having thus displayed the good qualities of his horse, he dismounted and said: "O King, have you beheld the power of my horse?" And, on the King replying that he had seen it, he said, "Look again," and rode his horse across the surface of the lake which was in the royal park, backwards and forwards, so that not even its hoofs were wetted. Having caused it to stand on a lily-leaf, he spread out his hand and it stood upon the palm. When the King remarked, "This is, indeed, very wonderful," he replied: "Now behold the power of my ruby. You have only to look into it to see everything that is in this city or on the face of the earth, and all the delights of Devaland."

(Here ends the canto called "The Ruby.")

* * * * * *


"Surely, O King, if I gamble with you and lose, take my ruby. But what will you stake?"


"Kaccya.no, I will stake anything but myself, my queen, or my throne."


"If that be so, O King, since I am from a distant country and cannot tarry long, make ready the gaming-place."

So the King summoned all his nobles, and ordered a place to be prepared. The nobles, having spread curiously-worked carpets and arranged places for the King and his hundred nobles, suitably to their rank, reported to the King that all was ready.

Then Pu.n.naka requested the King to come to the

[1. The description of what may be seen in the ruby is too long to translate.]

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gaming-place, and: said: "My lord king, you have stated that you will play with me for anything save your royal person, your queen, or your throne, and your words are as ivory ["i.e." firm]; but I am a poor person and you are the lord of many. If you win, you will assuredly take my ruby; but if I lose, you may delay in paying me, and fall back upon the fact that you are a king: how, then, can I play on equal terms?" But the King replied: "Kaccya.no, be not afraid; whether I win or lose I will act according to the law."

So Pu.n.naka called all the kings who were present to bear witness, saying: "Kings of Pancala, Paccuggata, Srasena, Madda, and Kebhi, who are here assembled, you have heard the words of Korabya your lord. Take good note of them. You are all law-abiding kings, and I call upon you to be my witnesses, without fear or favour; listen and watch between us, and according to the custom of the righteous, with heed, observe closely, and do that which is right."

Thereupon King Korabya, surrounded by a hundred princes, proceeded to the gaming-shed, and they sat in their appointed places; and King Korabya placed the golden dice upon a silver table.

Then Pu.n.naka said suddenly: "My lord king, the marks upon the dice are called 'th, than, einz,' and 'nguzon': take which you please." The King elected to take "einz" and Pu.n.naka took "than."

The King then called upon Pu.n.naka to throw first; but Pu.n.naka said: "My lord king, I am a poor man: it is not right that I should begin; it is for you to throw first." So the King agreed.

Now there was a fairy, who had been his mother in his third state of existence, who constantly looked after King Korabya, and through her power he had always won when he played with dice. He used also to sing the following verses whenever he played: (Sabb nad vika nad, etc.), which mean--

These words are not given in the Bur. Dictionary, but according to the text "th" = 8, "than" = 6, "einz" = 4, and "nguzon" = 2.]

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Rivers, all are crooked rivers;

Firewood grows in every tree;

Woman ever doeth evil

Get she opportunity.

In order to invoke his fairy guardian he sang as follows:--

O fairy, now my guardian be;

Fame and renown bring quick to me:

Upon thy kindness I rely.

Pure is the gold that forms each die;

Brightly they shine within the bowl:

Stand near me and my luck control.

Sweet fairy, ever kind to me,

Come now and bring me victory.

Then King Korabya, singing his gambling song, threw the dice into the air, but through Pu.n.naka's power they fell so that he would have lost; knowing, however, by his great skill that this would happen, he caught them before they fell on the silver table and again threw them into the air, but seeing that they would a second time fall against him, he again caught them in his hand.

Seeing this, Pu.n.naka looked round to see the reason, and observed the good fairy standing near the King. He thereupon glared fiercely at the fairy, and she fled terrified to the top of a mountain on the confines of the world. The King then threw them again thrice, but by Pu.n.naka's power was prevented from putting out his hand to catch them before they fell. Then Pu.n.naka threw, and seeing that he had won, rose from his seat and cried, "I have won, I have won." And the sound of his voice was heard throughout all Jambudvpa.

King Korabya was very sad at having lost, so Pu.n.naka, in order to comfort him, said: "My lord king, when two persons have a wager each puts forth all his strength

[1. See Jataka No. 62.]

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to win, but both cannot do so--one must lose; and so it is in this dicing: your Majesty, however, has not lost your own person. Be not cast down, but give me that precious thing that I have won, and let me depart, for I have come from afar and may not delay."


"Youth Kaccya.no, I have everything that is on the face of this earth: take what you want and go."


"My lord king, in your realm there are elephants, horses, precious stones, and lovely virgins, but the greatest treasure of all is Vidhra, 'the wise minister.' In accordance with your promise give him to me."


"Kaccya.no, before we began to play I said I would stake anything but myself, my queen, or my throne, and this Vidhra is as my very self, and you ought not to take him. It is on him that I rely. He is even greater than I, for I worship him. He is the source of my good fortune and like an island of refuge."


"My lord king, as I have far to go and cannot stay to argue the question, let us call Vidhra and abide by his decision."


"Kaccya.no, you are honest in all your actions: I am pleased with your suggestion. We will go to Vidhra and abide by his decision." So the King, accompanied by all his nobles, took Pu.n.naka with him and went to the Hall of Justice.

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When Vidhra saw the King coming he descended from the judgment-seat and sat in a suitable place. Pu.n.naka then addressed him thus: "O wise minister, you are well established in the law, and would not speak falsely even to save your life. These things are known unto all men. I, too, would know this, O wise one--Art thou the servant of the King, or one of his kin?"


"Youth, I am not of the King's kith, neither am I greater, but I am one of his servants. Of these there are four classes, viz.: the house-born, the purchased, the self-made, and the captive. As I am one that pays respect to the King, I am a 'self-made' slave, and though I may be taken to another country, I shall still be the servant of the King. And if the King for any reason give me to you, or another, his gift will be lawful."


"O princes, my victory is twofold. As for this king of kings, his wish was contrary to law. Why should he not give me this wise Vidhra, who has given a true decision?"

"Korabya" (in anger).

"O Vidhra, though I have honoured and raised you to high estate, you have no regard for me, but regard only the face of the youth Kaccya.no, whom you have only just seen. Youth, take this true slave and go thy way."

(End of the canto called "The Dice-throwing.")

* * * * * *

The King, thinking he might still detain Vidhra by getting him to solve difficult questions, asked him as follows:

Vidhra, how may householders dwell in safety?

[1. Antojta, dhanakkita, sayamdsupagata, karamarnita.]

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What is the law of mutual assistance?

Under what circumstances may they be without poverty and anxiety?

What is the rule for fidelity?

After passing from this life to another how may they be free from dread?

Vidhra replied--

\"O King, people should not commit adultery with their neighbours' wives, nor should they eat without giving food to those who deserve it. They should not rely on absurd casuistry, for it tends not to true wisdom.

\"Daily they ought to observe diligently the five duties. They should observe their duties to one another as rulers and householders. They should not forget to heap up merit. In all matters they should act with deliberation. Instead of being arrogant they should be humble. They should obey the instructions of the righteous. They should be neither short-tempered nor malicious. They should be bold and unflinching in almsgiving. They should speak loving words and be tender in thought, word, and deed.

\"They should be liberal to their friends and loving, doing to them as they would be done by. They should be mindful of seed-time and harvest, and when mendicants come round ever ready to fill their bowls.

\"They should desire to follow the precepts of the righteous. They should be mindful of their good birth and lineage. They should read and converse on good books, discussing and asking questions.

\"O King, they who do these things are free from danger and anxiety in this life, neither shall they have dread when they pass to another existence."

(Here ends the canto called " The Householder.")

* * * * * *

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Now when Vidhra returned from conducting the King back to his palace, Pu.n.naka said: "Vidhra, you have been given to me by the King and must go with me as my servant. Look closely to my advantage, for wise men have said that whosoever acts only for the good of his lord becomes well acquainted with it."


"Young man, I know that you have got possession of me, and that it was because the King gave me to you. It was for your good also that I answered his questions. In return for this kindness remain two or three days in my house, and allow me to instruct my wives and children."


"Vidhra, I will remain with you a few days, and during that time set your affairs in order and instruct your wives and children."

So Pu.n.naka went with Vidhra to his house.

Now Vidhra's house was built in three mansions, one suitable for each season. They were named Kujara, Mayura, and Piyaka. They were as well appointed as that of Sakko. So Vidhra installed Pu.n.naka in one of those mansions, with everything that he could want and 500 damsels to attend upon him, and retired to the one in which his family was living, and entering into the chamber of his wife Anu.l, told her to call all his children; but she, by reason of her great grief, was unable to do so, and sent her daughter-in-law, saying: "My tender and loving daughter-in-law, beautiful as the flower of the blue lotus (Indavaramuppala"m), go and summon my son Dhammapla and your other brothers-in-law."

Vidhra received them with streaming eyes, and embraced them; and after a little while, having come out into the

[1. Kujara, "elephant." Mayura, "peacock." Piyaka, "a spotted deer." But these names are also connected with certain plants.]

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reception hall, thus addressed his sorrowing family:--"My beloved children, I, your father, may only remain here in peace for three days, and after that must go away with the youth Kaccya.no and obey his commands. Indeed, he desires to depart on this very day, but, as I had not given you my instructions, I begged him to remain a day or two. I will now tell you your line of conduct, and do you all take it well to heart; and if the king asks you, when you go into his presence, whether your father gave you any commands, you can relate to him all I now say, and when he hears your words he will remember me with regret, and appoint you to proper posts." On hearing these words his family wept bitterly.

(Here ends the canto called "Lakkha.na.")

* * * * * *

When the weeping had ceased, he said: "My children, be not afraid: all the laws of 'Bhmakasa"nkhra' are impermanent. Wealth and riches are lost and destroyed. I will now relate to you the verses called 'Rjavasat,' attention to which will ensure earthly wealth and happiness."

"The Rjavasat, or "King-service."

If anyone desire royal service, being seated, listen to me;

How a man, having entered the service of royal personages, may attain unto honour.

That man obtains not a royal fami1y who is inconspicuous in wisdom;

Nor the coward, the fool, nor the sluggard, at any time.

[1. I
do not find this combination in Childers. According to the Burmese, "sa"nkhra" means "mutability," but here it seems to indicate the stages of existence both in this life and the next.

2. This consists of 46 couplets, beginning--

1. Ethayyo rjavasatim nisditya suntha me

Yath rjakulam patto yasam poso nigacchati

I am indebted to Mrs. M. Bode for her valuable assistance in translating these Pli gta.]

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When he acquires virtue, wisdom, and purity,

He (the king) confides in him, and keeps no secret from him.

Even as a balance, held rightly with equal beam,

Unshaken, let him not tremble; let him serve the king.

Even as a balance, rightly held with equal beam,

Obtaining full knowledge of all things, let him serve the king.

By day or by night, learned in the king's service,

Unshaken, not wavering, let him serve the king.

By day or by night, learned in the king's service,

Gaining knowledge in all things, let him serve the king.

Though one say to him, the road is made ready for the king;

Even though the king urge him to go by it, he should not; let him serve the king.

Let him not eat, as the king, food or dainties.

Let him even keep behind others; let him serve the king.

Let him not wear garments, wreaths, perfumes, nor ornaments, nor speak, nor do as the king does:

Let him use other adornments; let him serve the king.

Should the king take his pleasure, surrounded by courtiers and women,

With his courtiers and women let not the wise man dally.

Not puffed up with pride; prudent, with senses well guarded;

Firmly resolved in his heart; let him serve the king.

He should not dally with the king's wife, nor remain in a secluded place with her:

Let him not use the king's treasure; let him serve the king.

Let him not love much sleep, nor drink intoxicating drinks;

Nor fling the dice, nor game in the king's presence; let him serve the king.

Let him not mount the king's couch, chair, throne, or chariot,

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Thinking, "I am chosen for honour"; let him serve the king.

Let not the discerning man go too far from the king, nor too near him:

Let him stand in his presence so as to be seen and heard without difficulty.

He should not say, "The king is my friend; the king is my foster-brother":

Swift is the anger of the king, as the smart of a mote in the eye.

Though he think himself revered (by the king), the wiser and more learned man,

Let him not answer harshly the king when in the assembly.

Though he has the right to enter the door, let him not enter without the king's permission:

King's authority is as fire: let him serve the king.

If the king thinks to favour son or brother with villages, townships, districts, or provinces,

Being silent let him look on, nor cunningly speak ill of him.

To the elephant-riders, the royal guards, the charioteers, and foot-soldiers, when he gives wages, and the king increases their pay,

Let him not interfere; let him serve the king.

As a bow with an arrow fitted to it, bending as a bamboo reed,

Let him not act in opposition; let him serve the king.

His words should be as few as those of a tongueless fish,

Measured, prudent, brave; let him serve the king.

Let him not go to touch women, for loss of power is sure;

Cough, asthma, suffering, weakness, and wasting come upon him.

Let him not talk over much, nor let him keep silence:

When the time is fit let him speak, not ramblingly but measuredly.

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Not wrathful nor jarring, gentle, truthful, not backbiting.

Let him not talk frivolous talk; let him serve the king.

Let him cherish mother and father, and respect his elders.

Fearful of sinning, let him serve the king.

Well-trained, skilful, temperate, steadfast, and kind;

Strenuous, pure, and clever; let him serve the king.

Lowly to his elders, obedient, and humble;

Compassionate, and pleasant to dwell with; let him serve the king.

Though he speaks wlth ambassadors on secret business,

He should look only to his lord's welfare.

Both on Samanas and Brahmans, holy and profound in learning,

Let him respectfully wait; and let him serve the king.

Both Samanas and Brahmans, holy and profound in learning,

Let him lodge with care; and let him serve the king.

Both Samanas and Brahmans, holy and profound in learning,

Let him refresh with food and drink; and let him serve the king.

Both Samanas and Brahmans, holy and profound in learning,

Who have attained wisdom, let him serve, asking deep questions.

Let him not omit customary gifts to Samanas and Brahmans;

Nor let him forbid beggars at alms-time.

Wise, endowed with knowledge, skilled in rites and observance of the law,

Well knowing times and seasons, let him serve the king.

Active in his doings, vigilant, discerning,

Acting with good arrangement, let him serve the king.

Constantly visiting his threshing-floor, barns, cattle, and fields,

Let him store up the corn when measured, and when measured let it be cooked in his house.

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If son or brother be unstable in the commandments [duties], like helpless children in arms, or ghosts,

Let him give them clothes, food, and abiding places.

Servants who are steadfast in their duties,

Skilful and active folk, let him place before others.

Religious and uncovetous, strongly attached to the king;

Both openly and in secret beneficial to him; let him serve the king.

Let him know the king's wish; let him know the king's alms;

Unfaltering in his conduct, let him serve the king.

When (the king is) clothing and bathing, or feet-washing, head-lowered,

And when struck not wrathful; let him serve the king.

If one gives salutation to pots and does reverence to basins,

Why to the giver of all good things should not the best be given?

Whosoever gives beds, clothes, vehicles, habitations, and houses,

Even as a rain-cloud to beings, he pours down wealth.

This Rjavasat if a man practise,

He propitiates kings, and obtains both wealth and honour.

On the third day Vidhra, having bathed and dressed himself, went to the King's palace, to pay his respects and take leave,--and addressed the King thus:--"My lord king, this young man is taking me away; his mind is set upon going. I would speak to thee concerning the good of my family: listen, victorious one. When the youth asked me how I was related to thee, I truly replied that I was thy servant. That, indeed, is the only fault, as far as I can see, that I have committed. If a man slips upon the earth

[1. That is to say, "he should not look at the king's face, but stand with averted eyes."

2. The first line of 44 runs thus: "Kumbhahi pajalim kayir ctacpi padakkhi.na"m." The meaning is obscure, and the Burmese translation is: "On beholding pots full of water, kingfishers and other birds, though they can give no advantages, yet we salute them with raised hands."]

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and falls, on that spot even be must remain. That slip of mine I look at as my fault. Be not angry with me for that error, but take care of my family and possessions, and let them not be destroyed."


"It is not pleasant to hear that you must depart. I will endeavour by some stratagem to prevent your departure. I will summon the youth to my palace and secretly make away with him."


"My Lord, though this thought of thine arises through love and pity for me, it is not right; there is no benefit in it. Put it from thee and think only of what is meritorious. All beings must grow old and die. I bear no ill-will to this youth. He may beat me, or free me, or kill me. Being his slave, I must submit to his will and go with him."

So Vidhra, having respectfully saluted the King, and admonished the nobles and attendants, left the palace; and all the queens and ladies, being unable to restrain their feelings, with dishevelled hair and streaming eyes, beating their breasts, followed him in great sorrow. The people of the city came in crowds to see him depart; and he exhorted them, saying: "Be not sorrowful: actions, affections, seasons, food, are all impermanent. Both one's earthly body and possessions must come to an end; therefore, reflecting on these things, we should give alms and observe our religious duties." Having thus admonished them and sent them home, he proceeded to his house. Just then his son Dhammapla, and the rest of his family, having come out to look for him, met him at the gate; and when he saw his children, being unable to restrain his sorrow, he embraced them, weeping, and entered into his house. Now Vidhra "the wise" had a thousand sons, a thousand daughters, a thousand wives, and seven hundred concubines, and very

p. 463

many slaves and kinsmen. The whole of these were smitten with grief and sorrow, and lay prostrate as the "sal" trees when smitten by a whirlwind from Mount Yugantara; and with a mighty murmur they besought him not to leave them; but, having comforted them, and set his household affairs in order, he left them and entered into the presence of Pu.n.naka, saying: "Youth, in accordance with my wish, you have waited here in my palace two or three days, and my instructions to my family are complete: do according to your wish."


"Since you have completed your arrangements let us depart, for the distance we have to go is long. Without fear take hold of my horse's tail, for this is the last time that you shall behold the habitation of men."


"Of what should, then, I be in dread?

To none have I ever done evil

By thought, or by word, or by deed,

To make me the prey of the Devil."

Then, fearless as a lion, he uttered this act of truth: "May this cloth with which my loins are now girt ne'er leave me as long as I require it"; and, mounting on to the horse's crupper, and firmly grasping the tail, he said: "Youth, I have firm hold of your horse's tail: go whithersoever you desire."

At that instant Pu.n.naka thought, "What is the use of my taking this Vidhra to a distant place? I will carry him to the Himavanta forest, and, having dragged him through the ravines and thorn-brakes till the life is out of him, cast his dead body into a chasm, and carry his heart to Nga-land." So he directed his horse Manomaya thither, and urged him swiftly through the trees. But by the

[1. "Gaccheyya duggatim." But Buddhists believe that they will be tortured by devils in hell.]

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virtue of the Bodhisat's accumulated merit the trees kept away from his body for the distance of a cubit.

When Pu.n.naka looked back to see if he were dead, and beheld his face shining with brightness, he again urged his horse thrice through the thickets; but to no purpose. Being greatly enraged, he rode into a mighty wind, but by the power of the Bodhisat it divided in two; and though he did this seven times he was unable to kill him, so he carried him off to the mountain called K.lgiri.

Now Vidhra's wives and family, thinking that he was a very long time in the upper chamber with Pu.n.naka, ascended to see what he was doing; and when they saw him not, raised a great cry, saying, "This demon in the likeness of a youth has carried off our lord"; and they wept and wailed bitterly. And when the King heard the sound ther, he inquired what was the matter; and when they told him, he comforted them, saying: "Be not afraid, and cease from weeping, for he can preach the law sweetly, and will bring that youth to reason. Do not be so disturbed: he will soon return."

When Pu.n.naka arrived at the top of K.lgiri, he thought--"If I do not kill this Vidhra I shall not get Irandhat, and all my trouble will be for nought. I will kill him, and, having taken out his heart, carry it to Queen Vimal, and bear away Irandhat to my abode. It will not, however, do for me to kill him with my own hands, but I must cause his death through fear." So he set Vidhra down on the peak of the mountain, and took the appearance of a frightful demon, which threw Vidhra prone on his back, and then held him between its tusks as if it would devour him; but the Bodhisat was not in the least terrified. He then endeavoured to frighten him by taking the appearances of a lion, a must elephant, and a huge serpent; but the Bodhisat was not terrified by them. Then, thinking he would grind him to powder, he caused a mighty whirlwind to blow on him as he lay on the mountain-top; but that wind did not even disturb one hair of his head. He then caused the whole mountain

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of K.lgiri to be agitated, but was unable to terrify him; so he entered into the heart of the mountain and yelled loudly, but, though the noise was terrible, the Bodhisat was not disturbed.

Finding that he could not terrify him by any of these means, he, in the form of a frightful demon, took him by both feet and hurled him from the top of K.lgiri; but the Bodhisat fell lightly, as a ball of dressed cotton, at a distance of fifteen yjans. Then, taking him up again head downwards and finding that he was not yet dead, he hurled him again into the heavens, and he fell at a distance of sixty yjans.

After this had been done, the Bodhisat thought--"He may hurl me away again, or, taking me by the feet, beat me to death against this mountain, but I shall not be afraid; for to say nothing of these terrors, if at the end of this cycle, during the 'samva.t.tathy' (desolation?), even were I cast down from the realms of Vehapphalo into bottomless void, yet by reason of 'self-possession' I should have no fear; I should still be Vidhra, the wise minister of the King of Kuru." Then he said:--"Youth, your appearance is that of a good man, but you are not so. Your appearance is that of one who keeps himself under restraint, but you do not do so. You do that which is evil and profitless. Your actions are not meritorious. Why do you hurl me into these chasms? What advantage will you gain by my death? I do not think you are a man, but a Rakshasa: by what name are you known amongst Devas?"


"Have you not heard of Pu.n.naka in the country of men? I am the general of the armies of King Vessava.n. I desire to wed the lovely Irandhat, daughter of Vimal, the Queen of the Nga king Varu.na; and because I desire to wed her, it is my purpose to slay you."

[1. See Childers, under "Kappo."]

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"O Pu.n.naka, descend not to the level of fools. Oftentimes men come to destruction for doing the evil that they ought not to do. Why do you want to marry this lovely Nga princess? What profit will you get by my death?"


"O wise minister, I will tell you. I know not whether it was because we were once married and loved each other in a former existence, but from the first moment that I saw her I was urged by love to demand her from the Nga king, who informed me in the verses beginning 'Dujjemukho,' etc., that I must obtain lawfully, as her price, the heart of Vidhra; and, therefore, I desire to get your heart. I do not desire to injure you for a mere idle whim. I won you lawfully and I desire to take your heart lawfully and present it to the Nga king, so that I may obtain Irandhat. And as your death would be a great advantage to me, I have brought you to this place."

The Bodhisat, on hearing this, reflected--"What does Vimal want with my heart? Varu.na, having heard me preach the law, and having presented me with the ruby that adorns her neck, will probably, when he returned to the Nga country, have praised my preaching before his queens and courtiers; and, on that account, his chief queen, Vimal, wishing to hear me, has laid this stratagem, and Varu.na, not understanding it, has sent this ignorant Rakshasa Pu.n.naka, and he is ill-treating me owing to his bad disposition. I indeed am wise, but if I die by the hand of this Pu.n.naka what will be the use of my having been wise? I will even now show him my power." So he said: "Youth, listen to the law called 'Sdhunara,' and after you have heard it do with me according to your desire."

Pu.n.naka, saying to himself, "I do not think this law

[1. Vidhra either had the power of omniscience, or Pu.n.naka thought aloud.]

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has ever been preached before to men and devas,
" raised up Vidhra and set him on his feet on the top of the mountain, saying: "I have taken you out of the abyss and set you on the mountain. I have other business besides taking your heart, so that no good law may be unknown to men make it known to me."

The Bodhisat answered: "Youth, since you have other business besides taking my heart, and have saved me from the abyss, and, desiring to hear the law called 'Sdhunara,' have set me on the top of this mountain, I also will declare this law unto you; but my body is covered with dust and dirt, and it is not proper to preach when the body is defiled with dirt: permit me, I pray you, to bathe."

So Pu.n.naka brought bathing water, and caused the Bodhisat to bathe in it; and when he had done, dressed him and anointed him with fairy scents, and fed him with fairy food. Then, having prepared the top of K.lgiri in a suitable manner for preaching the law, the Bodhisat, sitting cross-legged, said--

"Follow him who goes before thee;

Dry not, youth, the hand that's wet;

Never to thy friend be faithless;

Follow not the wanton's beck.

These are the four precepts of the 'Sdhunara,' and he who adheres to them may be called a good man."

Pu.n.naka, not being able to understand, answered: "O wise one, who is he that has gone before? Why must one not dry the wet hand? Who is he that errs against his friend? What is a wanton? Explain to me this law; it is too difficult for me to understand."

Whereupon the Bodhisat replied: "If another should confer acts of hospitality on oneself, though he has never seen or met one before, to that person one should in like manner repay with gratitude those acts which he has done. This is the law called '"Ytnuyy".'

"If, for even one night, one should rest in a person's house, and obtain the slightest refreshment, one should not

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transgress against that person, even in thought. This is the law called '"Allap.ni parivajjaya".'

"Whosoever takes shelter beneath a tree, he should not break even a branch or twig ther; it is his friend. This is the law called '"Mittadubbhi".'

"Though a badly-disposed woman be taken in marriage, and obtain all the worldly goods it is possible to give her, yet, if she sees an opportunity for entertaining a lover, she will do injury to her husband without thought of gratitude. Verily, if a man be overcome by the blandishments of such a woman and gives her all her desires, his profit will be nought, and he will be harassed in body and mind. This is the law called '"Asatnam nagacche".'"

(Here ends the "Sdhunara" canto.)

* * * * * *

The Bodhisat having thus preached the law, Pu.n.naka thought thus:--"The wise one appears by these four laws to ask for his life. He never saw my face before, and though I was not his close friend, yet he treated me in his house as if I had dwelt with him aforetime. I enjoyed his hospitality for three or four days, and now the only reason I have for ill-treating him is for the sake of a woman. If I look at these four laws I see that I have been false to my friend. If I were to kill him I should verily be one who follows not the law called 'Sdhunara,' and if I am said to be one who does not according to this law I should not be desired by the Nga king's daughter. I will restore the wise one to his country, and gladden the hearts of his people and family": so he said: "O most excellent one, I dwelt in your home for several days, and you fed me; you are indeed a friend against whom I should not transgress. Truly, I will release you. I deserve not the Nga king's darling; through desire for her I ought not to have done this evil deed. Because you have preached the law well I will free you from death."

When he said this the Bodhisat answered: "O Deva, do not convey me to my home yet. Since I have never yet

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beheld the treasures of the Nga king, take me to Nga-land."

Pu.n.naka thereupon answered gladly: "We will go at once to the glorious land of the Ngas, and thou shalt behold it. That country is full of all splendours and delights." When they arrived there, Pu.n.naka, placing the Bodhisat behind him, went into the presence of the Nga king; and when the King saw them he said: "Youth, you went to the country of men to fetch the heart of the wise Vidhra: now that you have brought him himself, is your purpose accomplished?"

And Pu.n.naka answered: "My lord king of the Ngas, you desired Vidhra, and he has come. I obtained him lawfully. Behold him. There is great happiness in associating with good people, even though it be for a moment."

(Here ends the chapter called "K.lgiri.")

* * * * * *

After the Nga king had conversed thus with Pu.n.naka, he turned to Vidhra and said: "O wise nobleman, is it because of these unwonted splendours, which you have not beheld in the country of men, that, without fear of death, you are unable to pay respect to me, but remain in a state of stupefaction? He who is afraid when opportunity arrives cannot be called wise. Judging from your present conduct, I am of opinion that your fame for wisdom amongst men is a mistake."

"The Bodhisat."

"O Nga king, I have no fear of death. Who is likely to kill me? Verily, beings should not bow to those whom they are about to kill; neither should they bow down to those who are about to kill them."

"The Nga king."

"Thy words are true, indeed; one should not bow down to the person who ought to be slain, nor should one bow to the slayer. For who would do obeisance to the person who desires to slay him?"

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\"The Bodhisat."

"O king of the Ngas, this wealth and glory of yours are not lasting. I will ask you one question. Why did you obtain this fairy palace? Did you get it for nothing, or through the change of seasons? Was it wrought by your hand, or was it given you by some fairy? How did you get it?"

"The Nga king."

"O wise one, I got not this palace and wealth without cause; nor did I get it through the natural changes of the seasons. It was not given to me by the fairies; but I obtained it by merit accrued in a former existence."

"The Bodhisat."

"O Nga king, what was this meritorious action? What was the good deed that you performed? Your glory and wealth are very great: of what good deeds are they the result?"

"The Nga king."

"O wise one, when I and my queen Vimal dwelt in the city of Campnagara"m, in the country of A"nga, we were both of like mind as to almsgiving, and never lost an opportunity for giving alms. Our house was full of all those things that are bestowed on ascetics, as it were a well of water, and we gave them the ten lawful gifts, viz.: rice, sweet liquor, scent, unguents, lamp oil, cloths, mattrasses, couches, monasteries, and medicine. As the result of those excellent deeds we enjoy these delights."

"The Bodhisat."

"Since then, O Nga king, you obtained this palace as the result of a good deed, you know what is merit and also its results. Forget not this knowledge, and continue to act upon it. If you do so you will in the hereafter obtain another palace."

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\"The Nga king."

"As there are no hermits or Brahmans in this country, as in the land of men, I am unable to give alms. What meritorious action can I do here so as to ensure a happy abode in the next state?"

"The Bodhisat."

"O King, be ever kind to your people, relations, and attendants, chastening them with a loving hand if necessary. Be not angry with them. By increasing your love and patience you will hereafter acquire a higher station amongst the Devas."

"The Nga king."

"Vidhra, thou art the minister who art wont to instruct the intimate friends of the King of Kuru, and Korabya himself, through being long parted from you, is very sorrowful. He can only be comforted by your return."

"The Bodhisat."

"O King, you say this through having reflected on the law of righteousness. It is well known that my great qualities can assist him in calamity."

"The Nga king."

"Tell me truly, did Pu.n.naka obtain you for nothing or did he win you by dice? He tells me that he obtained you lawfully."

"The Bodhisat."

"My lord king, Dhanacaya lost me to Pu.n.naka by a throw of the dice; and as I belonged to the King, he gave me to Pu.n.naka. He obtained me lawfully."

"The Nga king"

(Having taken Vidhra into the Queen's chamber).

"My Lady Vimal, you were sickly, downcast, and wasted on account of the wise Vidhra. He whom thou desiredst

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is even this man here. He can dispel all wrath and darkness from the hearts of men and Devas. O Queen Vimal, you desired his heart's flesh; he has now come to you: listen to the law that be will preach to you. It will be difficult to find his equal in wisdom."

When Queen Vimal saw the Nga king coming and leading Vidhra by the hand, with joy she raised her ten slender fingers to her head, and said: "Wise one, thou payest not reverence through stupefaction on seeing such splendours. It is a mistake to call thee 'wise.'"

"The Bodhisat."

"Nga princess, I am not afraid through beholding you. Who would kill one so wise as I am? Nga princess, no one about to be slain makes obeisance to his slayer, nor does the slayer do reverence to him whom he is about to slay."


"It is as you say, O wise one. A person should not do reverence to those who intend to slay him."

The Bodhisat then asks the Queen the same question as he asked the King, and the Bodhisat preaches the law of kindness. The Queen states that she is satisfied with having heard the "law," which is his "heart"; and that she thinks King Dhanacaya Korabya must be very sorrowful at being separated from him, and will be delighted to see him again.

The Bodhisat replies that this is undoubtedly the case, as there is no one so skilled in giving good advice as he is.

The Queen asks him to tell her how Pu.n.naka managed to get possession of him, and the Bodhisat replies: "Be not afraid, O Nga, and take no thought as to how to slay me. I present myself wholly to thee. If you still desire my heart I will take it out and give it you, and if you want my flesh I will cut it off and give it you."

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\"The Nga king."

"O wise one, the 'heart' of a wise man is his wisdom. I have heard you preach the law, and my desire is fulfilled. Since Pu.n.naka has brought thee to this country, according to my wish, and both the wishes of myself and queen have been fulfilled, we will give him our daughter Irandhat to wife; and do you, Pu.n.naka, this very day convey Vidhra back to Indapattanagara"m."

So Pu.n.naka, being delighted at having obtained Irandhat, said: "O wise nobleman, I will repay you for the good you have done me by giving you this 'Manohara' ruby, and this very day restore you to Indapattanagara"m."

"The Bodhisat."

"May you dwell happily in your palace with this lovely Nga princess for the rest of your existence, and may nothing interfere with your mutual love; and since you are a true friend, you may give me the ruby and restore me to my home."


"Good, let us depart. Get up on to my horse." And placing Vidhra before him on his horse "Manomaya," in an instant, after bidding farewell to the Nga king, they arrived in the country of Kuru, where Pu.n.naka set him down, and, after again thanking him, rode off to the realms of the four great Rjas.

On the morning of the day on which Vidhra returned, King Korabya dreamed that there was a great tree near the door of his palace covered with sweet fruit, and which gave shade and shelter to all kinds of animals, and that all men made offerings and adorations to it. A cruel-looking black man, carrying a sword and wearing a bright red cloth, came and cut down this tree and took it away, to the great grief of everyone. Not long afterwards the same savage-looking man came back and set it up as it was before.

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When the King awoke he related his dream, and felt sure that it related to Vidhra; for none other than Vidhra could be like unto this tree, for his wisdom resembled the roots, his religious duties the branches, and his preaching the sweet fruit. He felt sure, therefore, that Vidhra was about to be restored to him, and was joyful. He therefore ordered the city to be decorated, the court to be prepared, and all the princes and nobles to be assembled.

So when Pu.n.naka set Vidhra down in the law-court, and went off with Irandhat to "Catumahrj," the King was overcome with delight; and, rising from his seat, took him by the arm and led him to the throne that had been prepared opposite to him, and thus addressed him: "Vidhra, you have come back to rejoice my heart as a chariot that has been repaired after it has been broken. How did you escape from the hands of the youth who took you away?"

Vidhra then related (in verse) all that had befallen him, and at the conclusion said:--"Thus, O King, because Pu.n.naka had set his affections on Irandhat he carried me off to slay me; but obtained his desire only by placing full reliance on me. The King of the Ngas, and his queen Vimal, too, by obtaining my heart, which is 'true wisdom,' were satisfied. In gratitude the Nga king restored me to my home and country, and I obtained the wonderful ruby which may be worn by Cakkavatti monarchs alone; I now present it to you, my Lord."

The King then related his dream to the assembly, released all those who were in prison, and proclaimed a universal holiday for a month.

After the rejoicings were over, and to the end of his life, Vidhra instructed the King and his people with discourses in almsgiving and religious duties, and when he died passed to Tvatimsa. All those who were confirmed in the law went to the land of the Devas.

At the end of the Jtaka the Buddha summed up as follows: "The then king and queen are now my royal

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parents, the heads of the Ski race; Vidhra's wife, Anu.l, is now Rhul's mother; Varu.na the Nga king is now my disciple Sriputtar, the son of the Brhmani Rpa, of the village of Upatissa; the Ga.luna (Garu.la) king is now Moggalno, my second disciple, the son of the Brhmani Moggali, of the village of Kolita; Sakko is now my uncle Dododhana's son, Anuruddha; King Korabya is now nand; Pu.n.naka is now Angulimla, the son of the Brahman Bhattagga, the chief teacher of Kosala, king of Svutthi; the horse Manomaya is my horse Ka.n.daka; Queen Vimal is now Khem, the nun, who was the queen of Bimbisra, king of Rjagriha (see R.A.S. Journal, July 1893, p. 529); Irandhat is now Kisagotam; and Vidhra is now I, the Buddha."

[1. Both Rpa and Moggali are here called "Pu.n.nma," the fem. form of "Pu.n.n," {Burmese: "Pu.n.n"} used by the Burmese to denote a Brahman. Stevenson has made no attempt in his dictionary to explain the word. The fem. is evidently Pu.n.ni + "ma", the Burmese fem. affix. The word is probably a very old one, and derived rather from Sanskrit than Pali.]
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