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Susumāra Jātaka (No.208)

v.l. Suṃsumāra Jātaka.– The Bodhisatta was once a monkey, living on the banks of the Gaṅgā. The wife of a crocodile (suṃsumāra) living in the river saw him and wished to eat his heart. Her husband, therefore, grew friendly with the monkey, whom he suggested taking across the river on his back, so that he might eat of fresh fruit on the opposite bank. The monkey trusted him and climbed on to his back, but, half way across the river, the crocodile began to sink and then confessed his intentions. The monkey thereupon laughed and told him that he never took his heart with him when he went climbing trees for food, otherwise it would get torn to pieces; but he, like all the other monkeys, hung it on a tree, and he showed it to the crocodile hanging there on the opposite bank.

The crocodile believed him and took him across, where he hoped to get the heart. However, the monkey jumped on the bank and laughed at his stupidity.

The story was related in reference to Devadatta’s attempts to kill the Buddha. The crocodile is identified with Devadatta and his wife with Ciñcā. J.ii.159 f; cf. Cyp.iii.7; Mtu.ii.208.

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