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Rohaṇamiga Jātaka (No.501)

The Bodhisatta was once born as Rohaṇa, a golden deer, king over eighty thousand deer, near Lake Rohaṇa. He had a brother, Cittamiga, and a sister Sutanā. One day Khemā, wife of the king of Bārāṇasī, dreamed that a golden deer taught her and begged the king to make the dream come true. The king offered great rewards, and a hunter, who was aware of Rohaṇa’s existence, undertook to bring him to the court. He set a trap in the ford where the deer drank and Rohaṇa was caught in it. When Rohaṇa gave the alarm, all the deer fled except Cittamiga and Sutanā. They told the hunter that they would die with their brother rather than leave him, and the hunter, touched by their devotion, set Rohaṇa free. When Rohaṇa discovered why he had been caught, he offered to go to Bārāṇasī, but was dissuaded by the hunter owing to the risks he would run. Rohaṇa then taught the Dhamma to the hunter and sent him back with a golden hair from his body. The hunter related the story to the king and queen and taught them the Dhamma. Then rejecting the rewards they offered him, he became an ascetic in the Himavā.

The story was related in reference to Ānanda’s attempt to throw himself before the elephant Dhanapāla, who was sent to kill the Buddha. Ānanda is identified with Cittamiga, Channa with the hunter, Sāriputta with the king and Uppalavaṇṇā with Sutanā. J.iv.413 ff; some of the verses of this Jātaka are found also in the Tesakuṇa Jātaka (J.v.123 f ).

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