Bhisa Jataka, Bhisa-jātaka: 2 definitions



Bhisa Jataka means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous (B) next»] — Bhisa Jataka in Theravada glossary
Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

Once the Bodhisatta, was born into a family which had eighty crores. He was called Maha Kancana and had six younger brothers (the eldest of them being Upakancana) and a sister, Kancanadevi. None of them would marry, and, on the death of their parents, they distributed their wealth, and, together with a servant man and maid, they went into the Himalaya and became ascetics, gathering wild fruits for food. Later, they agreed that Maha Kancana, Kancanadevi and the maid should be spared the task of collecting fruit and that the others should do this in turn. Each day the fruits collected were divided into lots and the gong was sounded. The ascetics would then come one by one and take each his or her share. By the glory of their virtues, Sakkas throne trembled. In order to test them, for three days in succession he caused Maha Kancanas share to disappear. On the third day, Maha Kancana summoned the others and asked the reason for this. Each protested his innocence and swore an oath that heavy curses should attend them if any were guilty of stealing so much as a lotus stalk (bhisa). In each case punishment was to be that in their next birth they should have lands, possessions and other encumbrances - which, from an ascetics point of view, would be a grievous thing. At this gathering were also present the chief deity of the forest, an elephant escaped from a stake, a monkey who had once belonged to a snake charmer, and Sakka, who remained invisible. At the end of their protestations of innocence, Sakka inquired of Maha Kancana why they all so dreaded possessions; on hearing the explanation, he was greatly moved and asked pardon of the ascetics for his trick.

The story was related in the same circumstances as the Kusa Jataka (q.v.).

Sariputta, Moggallana, Punna, Kassapa, Anuruddha and Ananda were the Bodhisattas brothers, Uppalavanna the sister, Khujjuttara the maid, Citta gahapati the servant, Satagiri the forest deity, Parileyya the elephant, Madhuvasettha the monkey and Kaludayi, Sakka (J.iv.304 14).

The Bhisacariya is included in the Cariya Pitaka (J.iii.4), and the story is also found in the Jatakamala, No.19.

context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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