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Candakumāra Jātaka (No.544)

v.l. Khaṇḍahāla Jātaka.– Khaṇḍahāla was the chaplain of King Ekarājā of Pupphavatī. The chaplain took bribes, and the king’s son, Candakumāra, having been told of this, once righted a wrong decision, thereby winning the applause of the people. The king appointed him judge, and Khaṇḍahāla vowed vengeance. Later the king, having dreamed of heaven, asked Khaṇḍahāla the way there; the chaplain replied that the way lay through a sacrifice in which all the king’s sons, his queens, his merchant princes, and his most treasured possessions should be offered. Khaṇḍahāla hoped thereby to bring about the death of Candakumāra. Ekarājā accepted the suggestion and made all preparations for the sacrifice. Several times the king wavered in his resolve, being interceded with by his parents, Canda and his wives, and the people. Khaṇḍahāla goaded him on, but at the moment when the sword was about to descend on the neck of Candakumāra, the latter’s wife, Candā, daughter of the Pañcāla king, made an “act of truth,” and Sakka appeared, brandishing a thunderbolt. Canda was saved, the crowd killed Khandahāla, and would have killed the king too but for the intervention of Sakka. The king was made an outcast and banished from the city, and Candakumāra, now the crowned king, supplied all his wants. (J.vi.129‑57; the story is also found in the Cariyāpiṭaka as the Candakumāra-cariyā).

Khaṇḍahāla is identified with Devadatta, Candā with Rāhulamātā, and Candakumāra with the Bodhisatta.

The story was told in reference to Devadatta’s attempts to kill the Buddha by engaging the services of archers to shoot him.

The story is referred to as an example of a husband being saved by the virtue of his wife (J.iv.47), and also of one instance of Devadatta having greater power than the Bodhisatta (Mil.203).

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