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Lomasakassapa Jātaka (No.433)

The Bodhisatta was once born as Kassapa, son of the chaplain to the king of Bārāṇasī. He and the king’s son shared a teacher and became friends. When the prince became king, Kassapa, having no desire for power, left him and became an ascetic. Because of the thick hair on his body, men called him Lomasakassapa. Sakka grew frightened of Kassapa’s power and, wishing to destroy it, appeared before the king at midnight and suggested to him that if he could persuade Kassapa to offer a sacrifice of slain beasts, he should be king over all India. The king, therefore, sent his minister Seyya, to fetch Kassapa to him. When Kassapa heard of the proposal he refused to go, but Sakka appeared again before the king and said that if the king’s daughter, Candavatī, were offered as reward, Kassapa would come. This proposal was agreed to, and Kassapa, tempted by the princess’s beauty, agreed to come. The people gathered at the place of sacrifice and tried to dissuade Kassapa from slaying the animals, but he refused to listen. Many beasts were slain, and as he raised his sword to cut off the head of the royal elephant the latter raised a cry in which all the animals joined. Roused by this uproar, Kassapa remembered his asceticism and was filled with remorse. He admonished the king, and, sitting cross-legged in the air, developed transcendental power, which enabled him to fly through the air.

The story was related to a passion-tossed monk. Seyya is identified with Sāriputta. J.iii.514 ff; the story forms one of the dilemmas of the Milindapañha, p.219. There Kassapa is stated to have performed the Vājapeyya sacrifice.

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