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Dhammadhaja Jātaka (No.220, 384)

1. Dhammaddhaja Jātaka (No.220).– The Bodhisatta was once born as Dhammaddhaja, chaplain to Yasapāni, king of Bārāṇasī. One day the king’s captain, Kālaka, who was wont to take bribes, gave a wrong decision in a case, and the Bodhisatta, being appealed to, reheard the case and decided in the plaintiff’s favour. The people applauded greatly and the king made him judge. However, Kālaka, wishing for an excuse to put Dhammaddhaja to death, persuaded the king that he was getting too popular, and the king gave him various impossible tasks. Dhammaddhaja, with the help of Sakka, performed them all. One day the king ordered him to find a park-keeper with four virtues, and once again, with the aid of Sakka, the Bodhisatta discovered Chattapāṇi, the king’s barber. On being questioned, Chattapāṇi told the king that he was free from envy, drank no wine, had no strong desires, never gave way to anger; he then related stories of his past lives, the experiences of which had made him renounce these evils. (For details see Chattapāṇi). The king, at length, discovered Kālaka’s perfidy and had him put to death.

The Jātaka was related in reference to Devadatta’s attempts to kill the Buddha. Devadatta is identified with Kālaka and Sāriputta with Chattapāṇi. J.ii.186‑96.

2. Dhammaddhaja Jātaka (No.384).– The Bodhisatta was once born as leader of a flock of birds on an island. Certain merchants of Bārāṇasī started on a voyage taking with them, to aid them on the way, a much travelled crow. The ship was wrecked and the crow flew to the island. There he pretended to the other birds that he was a holy person, practising austerities and living on air. The birds, being deceived by him, left him in charge of their eggs and young ones, which he proceeded to eat each day. One day the Bodhisatta kept watch and thus discovered his villainy. The birds collected round the crow and pecked him to death.

The story was related in reference to a deceitful monk, who is identified with the crow. J.iii.267‑70.

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