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Mudupāṇi Jātaka (No.262)

The Bodhisatta was once king of Bārāṇasī and had a daughter whom he was anxious to marry to his nephew; later, however, he changed his mind. However, the young people loved each other, and the prince bribed the princess’s nurse to help her to escape. The nurse, while combing the girl’s hair, indicated, by scratching her head with the comb that the prince was in love with her. The princess then taught her a stanza to be repeated to the prince: “A soft hand (mudupāṇi), a well-trained elephant and a black rain cloud will give you what you want.” The prince understood, and, one night in the dark fortnight, when his preparations were complete, a heavy shower of rain fell as he waited outside the princess’s window, accompanied by a page-boy seated on the king’s elephant. The princess slept in the same room as the king, and realising that the prince was there, she told the king that she wished to bathe in the rain. The king led her to the window and bade her step outside on to the balcony while he held her hand. As she bathed she held out the other hand to the prince, who removed the bangles from it and placed them on the page’s arm. Then, lifting the boy, he placed him beside her. The princess took his hand and placed it in her father’s, who thereupon let go of her other arm. This process was repeated, and, in the darkness, the king took the page inside thinking it was his daughter and put him to sleep while the lovers escaped. When the king discovered the plot, he was convinced of the futility of trying to guard women and forgave the lovers.

The story was related to a monk who became a backslider owing to a woman’s wiles. The monk became a Stream-winner. J.ii.323‑7.

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