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Guṇa Jātaka (No.157)

The Bodhisatta was once a Lion, and one day while out hunting he sank into a bog and remained there starving for seven days until rescued by a Jackal. To show his gratitude the Lion took the Jackal and his wife home with him, and the two animals and their wives lived together, the Lion and the Jackal going out together hunting. Later on, the Lioness grew jealous of the she-Jackal and tried to frighten her away in the absence of their husbands. When the Lion heard of this, he told his wife how the Jackal had befriended him in his hour of danger, and thenceforth they all lived happily together.

The Jackal is identified with Ānanda.

The story was told in reference to a gift made by Ānanda. Once, when he had been teaching the women of Pasenadi’s palace, they gave him five hundred new garments, which the king had just presented to them. The king hearing of this was at first annoyed, but on questioning Ānanda he was satisfied that no gift presented to the Saṅgha could ever be wasted. Delighted with this discovery, the king himself gave five hundred robes to Ānanda, all of which Ānanda presented to a young monk who was very useful and helpful to him. The monk, in his turn, distributed them among his fellow celibates, who wondered why Ānanda should have singled out one monk as the recipient of his gifts. When the matter was related to the Buddha, he assured the monks that the gift was offered to the monk by Ānanda only in return for numerous services (J.ii.23 ff).

The Jātaka is also called Sīha Jātaka, and probably also the Sigāla Jātaka. e.g., in J.ii.314.

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