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Kūṭavāṇija Jātaka (No.98, 218)

1. Kūṭavāṇija Jātaka (No.98).– The Bodhisatta was once a merchant named Paṇḍita and entered into partnership with a dishonest man, Atipaṇḍita. When the time came for dividing the profits the latter claimed a larger share, for he, as his name showed, was the “brains” of the business. To settle the dispute he hid his father in a hollow tree, and feigning to consult a Tree-sprite, referred the matter to the Tree. Paṇḍita suspecting the ruse, lit a fire at the foot of the tree and thus exposed the cheat.

The story was related in reference to a cheating merchant of Sāvatthi, who is identified with Atipaṇḍita. He tried to rob his honest partner, always putting off his claims, in the hope that he would die from the hardships suffered in a long journey they had undertaken for trade. J.i.404 f

2. Kūṭavāṇija Jātaka (No.218).– A villager once deposited five hundred ploughshares with a friend in the town, but when he came to claim them, he was told that they had been eaten by mice, and was shown the dung the mice had left behind. Some time later the villager took his friend’s son to bathe, hid him in a house, and reported to the townsman that the boy had been carried off by a hawk. When he was taken before the judge, who was the Bodhisatta, he protested that in a place where mice ate ploughshares a hawk could easily carry off a boy. The Bodhisatta settled their dispute (J.ii.181 ff).

The introductory story is similar to that of No.1 above.

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