Dictionary of Pāli Proper Names • G.P. Malalasekera
Page last updated on 8 October, 2020
Valāhakassa Jātaka (No.196)
Once, in Tambapaṇṇidīpa, was a yakkha-city called Sirīsavatthu, peopled by yakkhinīs. When shipwrecked sailors were cast on the shore from the River Kalyāṇī to Nāgadīpa, the yakkhinīs would assume human form and entice them and use them as their husbands. On the arrival of other castaways, they would eat their former husbands and take the new arrivals as their lovers. Once five hundred merchants were cast ashore there and became the husbands of the yakkhinīs. In the night the yakkhinīs left them and ate their former husbands. The eldest merchant discovered this and warned the others, but only half of them were willing to attempt an escape. Now it happened that the Bodhisatta was a horse of the Valāhaka race and was flying through the air from the Himavā to Tambapaṇṇī. There, as he passed over the banks and fields, he asked in a human voice: “Who wants to go home?” and the two hundred and fifty traders begged to be taken. They climbed on the horse’s back and tail and he took them to their own country. The others were eaten by the yakkhinīs.
The story was told in reference to a monk who had become a backslider from running after a beautifully dressed woman. J.ii.127 ﬀ.