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Khantivādī Jātaka (No.313)

The Bodhisatta, under the name of Kuṇḍala, was once born in a very rich family of Kāsī. After the death of his parents he gave away his immense wealth in charity and became an ascetic in the Himavā. Returning later to Kāsī, he dwelt in the royal park, being tended by the commander-in-chief. One day Kalābu, king of Bārāṇasī, visited the park with his harem and, falling into a drunken sleep, left the women to their own devices; they, wandering about and meeting the ascetic, asked him to teach them. When the king woke he sought his women, and seeing the ascetic and being told that he had been teaching on patience (khanti), he gave orders that the ascetic’s own patience be tested. The ascetic was subjected to various forms of ill-treatment until, becoming more and more angry at his composure, the king gave orders for him to be tortured by the cutting off of his limbs. As the king left the park the earth opened and he was swallowed in Avīci. The commander-in-chief, hearing what had happened, hurried off to the ascetic to ask forgiveness. The ascetic declared that he bore no malice, and died of his injuries with a blessing to the king on his lips. It is told by some that he went back to the Himavā.

The story was related at Jetavana in reference to a wrathful monk (J.iii.39‑43). Kalābu was Devadatta and the commander-in-chief, Sāriputta.

The Jātaka is frequently mentioned as an example of supreme forgiveness, the ascetic being referred to as Khantivādī (e.g., DhA.i.126; KhpA.149; J.i.46; iii.178; vi.257; BuA.51). The Jātaka further illustrates how a man’s anger can grow towards an unoffending victim (J.iv.11), and how an angry man loses all his prosperity (J.v.113, 119).

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