by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön | 2001 | 941,039 words
This page describes “jataka of the pigeon” as written by Nagarjuna in his Maha-prajnaparamita-sastra (lit. “the treatise on the great virtue of wisdom”) in the 2nd century. This book, written in five volumes, represents an encyclopedia on Buddhism as well as a commentary on the Pancavimsatisahasrika Prajnaparamita.
Note: This jātaka is repeated in King liu yi siang, T 2121, k. 48, p. 254b.
The Buddha was once a pigeon (kapota) living in the Snow Mountains (himālaya). On stormy day, a man lost his way; miserable (daridra) and exhausted (ārta), hunger (bubhukṣā) and cold (śīta) had brought him to his last moments (muhūrta). Seeing this man, the pigeon flew to look for fire (agni), collected some kindling (indhana) and lit it. Then the pigeon threw itself into the fire and gave its body to the famished man.