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Siṅgāla Jātaka (No.113, 142, 148, 152)

1. Siṅgāla Jātaka (No.113).– The people of Bārāṇasī once held a sacrifice to the yakkhas, placing meat and liquor in their courtyards. A jackal, who entered the city through a sewer, regaled himself with food and drink and then went to sleep in some bushes in the city. He did not awake until morning, and then, looking for a way of escape, met a brahmin. Promising to show him a spot where lay hidden two hundred pieces of gold, he persuaded the brahmin to carry him out of the city in his waist cloth. Arrived at the cemetery, he asked the brahmin to spread his robe and dig under a tree. While the brahmin dug, the jackal fouled the robe and ran away. The Bodhisatta, then a tree sprite, advised the brahmin to wash his robe and cease being a fool.

The story was told in reference to Devadatta, who is identified with the jackal. J.i.424‑26.

2. Siṅgāla Jātaka (No.142).– Once, during a festival in Bārāṇasī, some rogues were drinking and eating until late at night, and when the meat was finished, one of them offered to go to the charnel field and kill a jackal for food. Taking a club, he lay down as though dead. The Bodhisatta, then king of the jackals, came there with his flock, but in order to make sure that it was a corpse, he pulled at the club. The man tightened his grip, and the Bodhisatta mocked at his silliness. The man then threw the club at the jackals, but they escaped.

The story was told in reference to Devadatta, who is identified with the rogue. J.i.489 f.

3. Siṅgāla Jātaka (No.148).– The Bodhisatta was once born as a jackal, and, coming across the dead body of an elephant, ate into it from behind and lived inside it. When the body dried up, he became a prisoner and made frenzied efforts to escape. Then a storm broke, moistening the hide and allowing him to emerge through the head, but not without losing all his hair as he crawled through. He thereupon resolved to renounce greediness.

The story was told in reference to five hundred companions, rich men of Sāvatthi, who joined the Order. One night the Buddha perceived that they were filled with thoughts of lust. He therefore sent Ānanda to summon all the monks in the monastery, and told this tale to illustrate the evil effects of desire. The five hundred monks became Arahants. J.i.601 f.

4. Siṅgāla Jātaka (No.152).– The Bodhisatta was once a lion with six brothers and one sister. When the lions were away after food, a jackal who had fallen in love with the lioness told her of his love. She was greatly insulted, and resolved to tell her brothers and then die. The jackal slunk away and hid in a cave. One by one the lions came in, and when their sister told them of the insult, they tried to reach the jackal by leaping upwards, but perished in the attempt. At last came the Bodhisatta; being wise, be roared the lion’s roar three times and the jackal died. He then consoled his sister.

The story was told to a barber in Vesāli who served the king’s household. His son used to go with him to the palace, and, having fallen in love with a Licchavi girl, died of a broken heart because he could not have her. The barber, who was a pious follower of the Buddha, visited the Buddha some time after and told him of what had happened.

The jackal was the barber’s son, the lioness the Licchavi girl, and the six young lions the group of six monks (Chabbaggiyā). J.ii.5 ff.

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