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Mahilāmukha Jātaka (No.26)

Brahmadatta, king of Bārāṇasī, owned a state elephant, called Mahilāmukha, who was gentle and good. One day thieves sat down outside his stable and started talking of their plans for robbery, and murder. Several days in succession this happened, until at last, by dint of listening to them, Mahilāmukha became cruel and began to kill his keepers. The king sent his minister, the Bodhisatta, to investigate the matter. He discovered what had happened, and made good men sit outside the stables who talked of various virtues. The elephant regained his former goodness and gentleness.

The story was related in reference to a monk who was persuaded by a friend to eat at the monastery of Gayāsīsa, built for Devadatta by Ajātasattu. The monk would sneak off there at the hour of the meal and then return to Veḷuvana. After some time his guilty secret was discovered, and he was admonished by the Buddha. He is identified with Mahilāmukha and the king with Ānanda. J.i.185‑8. See also the Giridanta and Manoja Jātaka.

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