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Satadhamma Jātaka (No.179)

The Bodhisatta was once born in the lowest caste (caṇḍala), and one day went on a journey, taking his food in a basket. On the way he met a young man from Bārāṇasī, Satadhamma, a brahmin. They travelled together, and when the time came for the meal, because Satadhamma had no food, the Bodhisatta offered him some. “I could not possibly take yours,” said the brahmin youth, “because you are the lowest of the low.” The Bodhisatta ate some of the food and put the rest away. In the evening they bathed, and the Bodhisatta ate without offering Satadhamma anything. The latter had expected to be asked again and was very hungry. However, finding that he was offered nothing, he asked the Bodhisatta for some and ate it. As soon as he had finished he was seized with remorse that he should thus have disgraced his family. So greatly was he upset that he vomited the food, and with it some blood. He plunged into the wood and was never heard of again.

The story was related in reference to monks who earned their living in the twenty-one unlawful ways, as physicians, messengers, etc. (These are not listed in full in this Jātaka, but the full list is found elsewhere, e.g. in the Commentary to the Kandaraka Sutta MA.iii.5, ed.)

  1. Medical practice (vejjakammaṃ karoti),
  2. Acting as a messenger (dūtakammaṃ karoti),
  3. Doing things at the behest of laymen (pahiṇakammaṃ karoti),
  4. Lancing boils (gandaṃ phāleti),
  5. Giving oil for medical application (arumakkhanaṃ deti),
  6. Giving emetics (uddhaṃ virecanaṃ deti),
  7. Giving purgatives (adho virecanaṃ deti),
  8. Preparing oil for nose-treatment (natthutelaṃ pacati),
  9. Preparing oil for medicine (pivanatelaṃ pacati),
  10. Presenting bamboos (veludānaṃ deti),
  11. Presenting leaves (pattadānaṃ deti),
  12. Presenting flowers (pupphadānaṃ deti),
  13. Presenting fruits (phaladānaṃ deti),
  14. Presenting soap-clay (sinānadānaṃ deti),
  15. Presenting tooth-sticks (dantakatthadānaṃ deti),
  16. Presenting water for washing the face (mukhodakadānaṃ deti),
  17. Presenting talcum powder (cuṇṇamattikadānaṃ deti)
  18. Using flattering speech (cātukamyaṃ karoti.
  19. Acting like half-cooked bean soup, i.e., speaking half truths (muggasūpiyaṃ karoti),
  20. Fondling children (pāribhaṭuṃ karoti),
  21. Running errands (jaṅghapesaniyaṃ karoti).

The Buddha summoned them and warned that food unlawfully come by was like red-hot iron, a deadly poison. It was like partaking of the leavings of the vilest of mankind. J.ii.82‑5.

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