by Robert Chalmers | 1895 | 877,505 words | ISBN-13: 9788120807259
This is the Anta-jataka (English translation) including a glossary and notes. The jatakas (buddhist birth history) are a category of literature within buddhism and narrate the previous births of the historical Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama). They include various obstacles which a Buddha-character encounters and must overcome. Alternative title: Anta-jātaka.
“Like to a bull,” etc.— This is another story told by the Master in the same place and about the same people. The circumstances are the sane as before.
Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was king of Benares, the Bodhisatta became the spirit of a castor-oil-tree which stood in the approach to a certain village. An old ox died in a certain village; and they dragged the carcase out and threw it down in the grove of these trees by the village gate. A Jackal came and began to eat its flesh. Then came a Crow, and perched upon the tree. When she saw the Jackal, she cast about whether by flattery she could not get some of this carcase to eat. And so she repeated the first stanza:
"Like to a bull your body seems to be,
Like to a lion your activity.
O king of beasts! all glory be to thee!
Please don't forget to leave a bit for inc."
"They that of gentle birth and breeding be
Know how to praise the gentle worthily,
O Crow, whose neck is like the peacock’s neck,
Come down from off' the tree and take a peck!"
The Tree-spirit, on seeing this, repeated the third:
"The lowest of all beasts the Jackal is,
The Crow is lowest of all birds y-wis,
The Castor-oil of trees the lowest tree:
And now these lowest things are here all three!"
Footnotes and references:
Folk-Lore Journal, 3. 363. Compare No. 294.