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(JÂTAKAS 33 AND 201)


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[New Series, Volume V]

[London, Trübner and Company]


{Scanned and edited by Christopher M. Weimer, March 2002}

ART. I.--Two Játakas. The original Páli Text, with an English Translation. By V. FAUSBÖLL.

[Read February 17, 1870.]

   The two Játakas I here lay before the public contain, as will be seen, two fables which, in the tale that forms the framework of the second book of the Pancatantra, were combined into one. Only the main features, however, are the same, the details differing greatly; and the same is the case in all the other tales which the Játakas have in common with the Pancatantra and the Hitopadeça. But, as the MSS. of these two works disagree so much that there are almost as many texts as there are MSS. ("ut poene quot codices, tot textus esse dicere possis," Kosegarten, p. vi), new editions of both of them, based on the oldest MSS. that can be found in India, would be of great value; and if once the oldest MS. in existence had been discovered, I should particularly recommend its publication without any alloy from other MSS., that we might be sure we have one clear, self-consistent text. I think that if this had been done, the similarity between the Singhalese (Páli) and the continental (Sanscrit) fables would appear greater; the Pancatantra being originally, as Prof. Benfey has clearly shown, a Buddhistic work. If we look at the first of the two following fables, it will be seen that the truth to be expounded is the old one, couched by Sallust p. 2 (Jugurtha 10), in the words, concordia parvæ res crescunt, discordia maxumæ dilabuntur, or in modern form: union is strength, disunion weakness. Only the first half of this truth, however, comes clear out in the Pancatantra and the Hitopadeça; the other half seems, by the combination of our two distinct fables into one, to have been gradually obscured, so as to disappear entirely in the Hitopadeça in the cardinal verse. . . .

   For constituting the text of Játaka 33 I have only had one MS., the Singhalese one at Copenhagen; I have, therefore, in this Játaka followed the orthography commonly used in Singhalese MSS. For the Kuru"ngajátaka, I have had one more, namely, the Burmese MS. at the India Office Library, p. 3 which has been mentioned in my "Five Játakas;" and I have therefore, in the latter Játaka, followed the common orthogography as regards the use of the nasals.



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   "Agreeing." This the Master related, while living in the grove of banyan-trees, near Kapilavatthu, in reference to a dispute about wreaths. This (dispute) will appear in the Ku.nála-Játaka. At that time, namely, the Master admonishing (his) relations (said): Emperors! dispute between relatives mutually is, surely not becoming; even (some) animals which had conquered (their) enemies at the time of concord, when quarrelling, suffered great destruction, (and) so having said, (when) called upon by (his) royal relatives, he told a story:

   In (times) past; when Brahmadatta reigned in Bárá.nsí, Bodhisatta, having been born a quail, lived in the wood with an attendance of many thousands of quails. Then a quail-hunter, after going to their dwelling-place, (and) having counterfeited the cry of quails, and seen that they had assembled, threw (his) net over them, (and) after drawing it together at the sides (and) uniting all in one (heap), he filled his basket, went to (his) house, sold them, and (thus) had his livelihood with that money. But one day Bodhisatta said to those quails, "This fowler detroys our kin; I know a means by (employing) which he will not be able to catch us. Henceforth as soon as the net is thrown over us by him, you, having each of you put (his) head into one mesh of the net (and) lifted the net (and) carried (it) to whatever place you choose, cast (it) on a thorn-bush. This being (done) we shall escape each from under his place." (Saying) Very good! they all promised (to do so). The next day when the net had been thrown over (them), then having lifted the net in the way mentioned by Bodhisatta (and) having cast it on a thorn-bush, they themselves fled away from underneath. While the fowler was extricating the net from the bush, it had become dark. He went away empty-handed. From the following day the quails act in the same way. And he until sunset (being busy) extricating the net, without having got anything, goes to (his) house empty-handed. Then his wife, p. 6 being angry, said, "You come empty-handed every day; I think that outside (this place) there must be (another) for thy sustenance." The fowler (said), "Dear! there is no other place for my sustenance; those quails indeed live in harmony, (and) taking (away with them) the net (as soon as it is) thrown by me, they cast (it) on a thorn-bush and go (away). But surely they will not always live in harmony. Thou must not grieve. When they fall inta disunion, then, having taken them all, I shall come and make your face smile;" (and) thus saying he repeated this stanza to (his) wife:

(While) agreeing the birds go (away)
carrying off the net,
but when they quarrel
they will then fall into my power."

When a short time had passed, one quail, descending on the pasture-ground, unawares trod on the head of another. The other was angry (and said), "Who trod on my head?" and although the first said, "Be not angry, I trod (on it) unawares," yet he was angry. They, again and again talking (together), quarrelled with each other, saying, "(It is) thou, I suppose, '(that) liftest the net." While they were quarrelling, Bodhisatta thought, "For those who quarrel there is no safety, now they will not lift the net, then they will incur great destruction, the fowler will have a (good) chance. I cannot stay in this place (any longer)." So he took his retinue and went elsewhere. But the fowler, after a little while, came and counterfeited the cry of the quails, and when they had assembled he threw the net over (them). Then one quail said, "While lifting the net, the feathers on thy head fell off, now lift (it again)." Another said, "While lifting the net, thy wings on both sides dropped, now lift (it again)." Thus while they were saying, "Lift (the net again)," the fowler threw (his) net, and after uniting all in one (heap), and filling (his) bag, he went home and made (his) wife smile.

   The Master (said), "Thus, O Emperor! the dispute of relatives is not becoming, dispute is the root of destruction; (and) so (saying and) having given this moral instruction, he wound up the Játaka by saying: "At that time the unwise p. 7 quail was Devadatta, but the wise quail I."--The Sammodamána-Birth.

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   "Therefore the leathern trap." This the Master related, while living at Veluvana, in reference to Devadatta. For at that time the Master, having heard that Devadatta endeavoured to kill (him, said,) bhikkhus, not only now Devadatta endeavours to kill me, (but) also formerly he endeavoured (to do so, and) so having said he told a story:

   In (times) past, while Brahmadatta reigned in Bárá.nasí, p. 11 Bodhisatta, having become a Kurunga-deer, took up (his) abode in the wood, in a thicket not far from a lake. At the top of a tree not far from that lake sat a Woodpecker, and in the lake there lived a Tortoise. Thus those three companions lived pleasantly together. Then a Deer-hunter, roaming in the wood, having seen Bodhisatta's footmarks near a water-pool, (and) having placed a trap made of leather (thongs, and as strong) as an iron-chain, went (his way). Bodhisatta, having come to drink water, (and being) caught in the trap during the first watch (of the night), shrieked (frantically) as a prisoner. At his shriek the Woodpecker, coming down from the top of the tree, and the Tortoise out of the water, consulted (together, saying) what is to be done? Then the Woodpecker, addressing the Tortoise (said), "Friend, you have teeth, cut this trap; I will go and manage (it so) that he shall not come; thus by the efforts made by us two our companion will obtain life;" (and) explaining this matter (he) pronounced the first stanza:

1. "Therefore the leathern trap
Out with thy teeth, O Tortoise!
I will manage (it) so
That the Hunter shall not come."

   The Tortoise began to gnaw at the leather-thongs. The Woodpecker went to the village where the Hunter dwelt. The Hunter at dawn, having taken (his) hunting-knife, went out. The Bird, perceiving that he was about to go out, shrieked aloud, shaking (his) wings, and struck him in the face when he was going out at the front-door. The Hunter (said to himself), "I have been struck by a bird of bad omen," (and) so (saying) he returned, lay down a little (while), and then got up again and took (his) knife. The Bird (thought), "this (man) went out the first (time) by the front-door, now he will go out by the back-door," (and) seeing this he went and sat down at the back-door. But the Hunter thought, "when I went out by the front-door, I saw a bird of bad omen, now I will go out at the back-door," (and) so (thinking) he went out by the back-door. The Bird again shrieking aloud went and struck (him) in the face. The p. 12 Hunter, again struck by the bird of bad omen, (thought), "this (bird) will not allow me to go out," (and) so returning he lay down until daybreak, and (then) at the dawn of morning took (his) knife and went out. The Bird went away hastily, and told Bodhisatta that the Hunter was coming. At this moment, with the exception of one thong, the other thongs had been cut by the Tortoise. But his teeth looked as if they were going to fall out, (and his) mouth was soiled with blood. Bodhisatta, seeing that the Hunter had taken (his) knife, and was coming on with the speed of lightning, burst that thong and entered the wood. The Bird (now) set himself on the top of a tree. But the Tortoise from weakness lay down there. The Hunter, after throwing the Tortoise into (his) bag, fastened (it) to a post. Bodhisatta, on (his) return, seeing (what had taken place) and knowing that the Tortoise had been caught (thought), "I will preserve (my) companion's life," (and) so, feigning to be weak, he appeared before the Hunter. He (thought), "this (deer) must be weak, I will kill him," (and) so, taking (his) knife, he followed (him). Bodhisatta, neither going very far (away) nor very near, entered the wood, taking him (with him). (But) when he knew that he had gone a great distance he changed his pace and went (back) with the rapidity of the wind another way, (and) when he had thrown up the bag into the air, with (his) horn, and let it fall and be torn on the ground, he drew out the Tortoise. The Woodpecker descended from the tree. (Then) Bodhisatta said admonishingly to the two (others), "I got life through you; by you has been done unto me what ought to be done to a companion; now when the Hunter comes he will seize you, therefore, friend Woodpecker! take your children and go to another (place), and you, friend Tortoise! go into the water." They did so. The Master having become enlightened, pronounced the second stanza:

2. "The Tortoise went into the water,
The Deer entered the wood,
The Woodpecker from the top of the tree
Carried (his) children far away."

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The Hunter coming (back) to that place, (and) not seeing any one, took (his) torn sack and went to his house, seized with distress. The three companions, on the other hand, without breaking off (their mutual) confidence during life, (at last) passed (away) according to (their) deeds. The Master having given this moral instruction, wound up the Játaka thus: "At that time the Hunter was Devadatta, the Woodpecker Sáriputta, the Tortoise Moggallána, but the Kurunga-deer (was) myself." The Kurungadeer-Birth.

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