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Dūta Jātaka (No.260, 478)

1. Dūta Jātaka (No.260).– Once the Bodhisatta was king of Bārāṇasī. He was very dainty as to food, and spent so much on it that he came to be known as Bhojanasuddhika (Dainty food). He always ate in a decorated pavilion in full view of his people. One day, a greedy man seeing him eat and wishing to taste the food, rushed up to him with clasped hands, saying that he was a messenger (dūta), messengers having free access to the king. Approaching the table, he snatched some food and thrust it into his mouth. The king’s attendants wished to behead him, but the king invited him to share his meal, and, at the conclusion, enquired as to his message. He said he was the messenger of Lust and of the Belly, and told the king how great was the power of these two. The king was pleased with him and gave him one thousand cows.

The story was told in reference to a greedy monk. J.ii.318‑21.

2. Dūta Jātaka (No.478).– The Bodhisatta was once a brahmin of Kāsi. He studied at Takkasilā, and wandered about begging for gold to pay his teacher. He collected a few ounces, but on his way back he was forced to cross the Gaṅgā, and the gold fell into the river. He then thought out a plan and sat fasting on the bank of the river, refusing to speak to anybody until the king of Bārāṇasī himself came. To him he told his story, pointing out that it would have been useless to tell the others, they being unable to help him. The king gave him twice the original quantity of gold.

The story was related in reference to a discussion by the monks as to the Buddha’s great resourcefulness. J.iv.224‑8.

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