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The Jataka, Vol. VI, tr. by E. B. Cowell and W. H. D. Rouse, [1907], at

p. vii



A prince pretends to be dumb and incapable. Various means are taken to try to break through his reserve, but fail for sixteen years. At last, as he is about to be buried, he opens his mouth and discourses on religion to the charioteer. He then becomes an ascetic, and is followed by his father.


A prince suspected by his brother, without reason, rebels against him and kills him. The king's consort, being with child, flees from the city; her son is brought up without knowledge of his father, but when he learns the truth, goes to sea on a merchant venture. He is wrecked, and a goddess brings him to his father's kingdom, where after answering some difficult questions, he marries the daughter of the usurper. By and by, he becomes an ascetic, and is followed by his wife.


A hunter's son marries a hunter's daughter, and both become ascetics. The wife becomes pregnant without human intercourse, and bears a son. The parents are both blinded by a snake, and the son attends upon them. A king, coming out to hunt, sees the lad and shoots him with an arrow; but on learning his dutiful affection he repents, and attends upon the parents himself. The boy is miraculously cured and the parents recover their sight.


A king, on the appearance of his first grey hair, becomes an ascetic. Sakka explains to him that holy life is better than giving alms. Sakka's charioteer takes him all round the heavens and the hells, and finally brings him to Sakka.


A king misled by a false judge decrees that all his family shall be put to death in order that he may go to heaven. After various fluctuations Sakka comes to the rescue and saves them.

p. viii


An ascetic is seduced by a Nāga-woman. Afterwards he becomes a king. Scenes in the Nāga country are described. He has four sons, one of whom becomes an ascetic. The feud between the Nāgas and the Garuḷas. A magic spell, and the adventures of the prince in snake form.


A king questions an ascetic as to the various moral duties. He is himself devoted to pleasure, but his daughter is virtuous and tries to deliver him from heretical beliefs, which is finally effected by the help of the Buddha.


Four kings, including Sakka, dispute as to which is the most virtuous and they ask a solution from a wise man who decides that they are all equal. The wife of the Nāga king is so enchanted at what she hears that she desires the wise man's heart. The king promises his daughter's hand to a Yakkha if he will bring the heart. The Yakkha visits the court where the wise man is, defeats the king at dice, and claims the wise man. The wise man asks for three days' delay to exhort his family. The Yakkha tries to kill him, but fails. The wise man asks him what he wants, and he tells him. The wise man then wins over the Yakkha and goes to the Nāga king where no harm comes to him.


A story of four pretended wise men and one real wise man, of numerous problems which the four failed to solve and the one succeeded, of many attempts of the four to destroy the one and of his final triumph, including wars, battles, sieges, and the description of a wonderful tunnel full of machinery.


A prince devoted to giving gifts falls into disrepute through giving a magical elephant. He is banished with his family into the forest where he gives away everything he has left, including his two children. Ultimately the children are set free and all ends well.

Next: No. 538.: Mūga-Pakkha Jātaka.