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Tacchasūkara Jātaka (No.492)

Once a carpenter in a village near Bārāṇasī picked up a young boar from a pit and took him home and reared him, calling him Tacchasūkara (Carpenter’s Boar). The boar helped him in his work, fetching his tools and so on. When he grew up to be a big, burly beast, the carpenter let him go free in the forest. There he joined a herd of wild boars that was being harassed by a fierce tiger. Tacchasūkara made all the preparations for a counter-attack, digging pits and training all the members of the herd in their various duties, and their several positions at the time of attack. Under his guidance they succeeded in killing the tiger and greedily devouring the corpse. Tacchasūkara was told that there was a sham ascetic who had helped the tiger to eat the boars. The herd attacked the ascetic, who climbed up a fig-tree, but they uprooted the tree and devoured him. They consecrated Tacchasūkara as their king, making him sit on a fig-tree, and sprinkling water on him from a conch-shell, with its spirals turned clockwise, which the ascetic had used for drinking.

Hence arose the custom of seating the king on a chair of figwood and sprinkling him with water from a conch-shell at his coronation. The story was related in connection with Dhanuggaha-Tissa Thera (q.v.) Spies of Pasenadi had heard him discuss with Datta Thera the plan of campaign that should be adopted if Pasenadi wished to defeat Ajātasattu. This was repeated to Pasenadi, who followed the suggestion and captured Ajātasattu.

Dhanuggaha-Tissa is identified with Tacchasūkara. J.iv.342 ff.

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