Harita Jataka, Hārita-jātaka: 1 definition


Harita 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.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

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

The Bodhisatta was born in a wealthy brahmin family and was called Harittaca because of his golden colour. When his father died, he left the world and became an ascetic, with great supernatural powers. He went to Benares, and was invited by the king to live in the royal park. He accepted the invitation, and lived there for twelve years. The king was then called away to quell a frontier rebellion, and instructed the queen to look after the ascetic. One day, as the Bodhisatta came in late for his meal, the queen rose hastily and her robe of fine cloth fell from her. Harittaca was filled with lust, and, taking her hand and drawing a curtain round them, he lay with her. This then became a daily occurrence and the scandal spread abroad. The ministers wrote to the king, who, however, refused to believe them. When he returned he questioned the queen, who confessed her wrongdoing, but even then the king refused to believe it till Harittaca (or Harita as he is also called) acknowledged his guilt. The king was full of admiration for his truthfulness and forgave him, but Harittaca, after preaching to the king on the misery of sinful desire, once more developed his mystic powers, took leave of the king, and returned to the Himalaya.

The story was told in reference to a monk who had grown discontented because of a beautiful woman. J.iii.496-501.

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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