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Maṇikārakulūpaka Tissa

An elder who ate for twelve years at the house of a jeweller of Sāvatthi.

One day when the jeweller was chopping some meat, Pasenadi sent him a certain precious stone to be cleaned and threaded. The jeweller took the stone without wiping his hands and put it in a box. While he went to wash his hands, his pet heron, thinking it was a piece of meat, swallowed it. Tissa was present and saw this happen. The jeweller, finding his jewel had disappeared, suspected Tissa and questioned him. The elder denied having taken the stone, but said nothing about the heron in case it should be killed. The jeweller became very angry, and, convinced that Tissa was the thief, proceeded to torture him, in spite of the protests of his wife. As the blood flowed from the elder’s body, the heron came to drink it, but the jeweller kicked him and he fell down dead. Then Tissa told the jeweller what had happened. The heron’s crop was cut open and the jewel recovered. The jeweller was full of remorse and begged Tissa’s pardon, which was readily granted, but, soon after, Tissa passed away into nibbāna. The heron was reborn in the womb of the jeweller’s wife. She became a deva after death, but the jeweller was reborn in hell. DhA.iii.34 ff.

See Dhammapada verse 126.

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