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Kumbha Jātaka (No.512)

The story of how a forester, Sura, accidentally discovered strong drink, and how, with the help of his accomplice, the ascetic Varuṇa, he spread abroad the discovery, thus leading to the destruction of all Jambudīpa, had Sakka not appeared on earth and by his exposition of the evils of drink induced Sabbamitta, king of Sāvatthi, to abstain from its use.

The story was told in answer to a question by Visākhā as to the origin of drink. Once during a drinking festival at Sāvatthi five hundred women, friends of Visākhā visited Jetavana in her company. On the way they became drunk, which led to their behaving improperly in the monastery. The Buddha frightened them by his psychic power and restored them to their senses. (J.v.11 ff; the DhA.iii.100 ff gives a slightly different version of the doings of Visākhā’s friends).

The story of the past is also given in the Jātakamālā (No.17).

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