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Venasākha Jātaka (No.353)

v.l. Dhonasākha Jātaka.– Once a prince of Bārāṇasī, named Brahmadatta, learned the arts from the Bodhisatta, then a teacher at Takkasilā. The teacher (Pārāsariya), having observed his character, warned him against harshness and counselled him to be gentle. In due course, Brahmadatta became king, and on the advice of his chaplain, Piṅgiya, went out at the head of a large army and captured alive one thousand kings.

He could not, however, take Takkasilā, and Piṅgiya suggested that a sacrifice be offered, to take the form of blinding the captive kings and letting their blood flow round the rampart. This was done; but when Brahmadatta went to bathe, a yakkha tore out his right eye, and, as be lay down, a sharp-pointed bone, dropped by a vulture, blinded his left eye. He died in agony and was born in hell.

The story was related in reference to Bodhirājakumāra who blinded the architect of his palace (Kokanada), lest he should build another as grand.

Bodhi is identified with Brahmadatta and Devadatta with Piṅgiya (J.iii.157.161).

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