Kaka Jataka, aka: Kāka-jātaka; 2 Definition(s)
Kaka 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.
Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)
1. Kaka Jataka (No.140) - The Bodhisatta was once born as a crow. One day a crow dropped filth on the kings chaplain as he was returning from the bath arrayed in all his splendour. He thereupon conceived hatred against all crows. Soon after that a woman slave, watching some rice spread out in the sun to dry, was angered by a goat who, as soon as she fell asleep, started to eat the rice. In exasperation she fetched a torch and struck the goats shaggy back, which caught fire. To ease its pain, the goat ran into the hayshed near the kings elephant stalls and rolled in the hay. In the conflagration that ensued many of the elephants were badly burnt, and when the chaplain was consulted, remembering his anger against crows, he said that the cure for burns was crows fat. Crows were accordingly being mercilessly slaughtered; the Bodhisatta, hearing of this sought the king and explained to him the chaplains motive. Crows had no fat, he said, because their life is passed in ceaseless dread. The king, being greatly pleased with the Bodhisattas act, granted immunity to all living beings, showing particular favour towards crows.
The circumstances which led to the recital of the story are described in the Bhaddasala Jataka (q.v.). The king in the story was Ananda.
2. Kaka Jataka (No.146) - Once a crow came with his mate to the seashore and ate freely of the remnants of a sacrifice which had been offered by men to the Nagas and drank freely of the strong drink which he found. Both crows became drunk, and, while trying to swim in the surf, the hen crow was washed into the sea and eaten by a fish. Hearing the husbands lamentations, many crows gathered together and started to empty the ocean, working away until ready to drop from weariness. Seeing their plight, the Bodhisatta, who was then a sea sprite, caused a bogey to appear from the sea, frightening them away.
The story was told in reference to a number of monks who had joined the Order in their old age. They went for alms to their former wives and childrens houses, and gathering together at the house of the wife of one of them (she being particularly beautiful), placed together what each had received and ate it with sauces and curries prepared by the beautiful wife. The woman died, and the aged monks, returning to the monastery, wept aloud for their benefactress, the giver of sauces. The matter was reported to the Buddha, who identified the crows of the past with the foolish monks (J.i.497-9).
According to the Dhammapada Commentary (iii.422), the name of the woman was Madhurapacika.
3. Kaka Jataka (No.395) - The Bodhisatta was once a pigeon and lived in a net basket in the kitchen of a Benares merchant. A greedy crow, becoming intimate with him, came to live there. The cook discovered the crow trying to steal some food, and, pulling out his feathers,Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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).
Languages of India and abroad
Kāka, (onomat. , cp. Sk. kāka; for other onomat. relatives see note on gala) the crow; freq. in similes: S. I, 124= Sn. 448; J. I, 164. Its thievish ways are described at DhA. III, 352; said to have ten bad qualities A. V, 149; J. I, 342; III, 126; kākā vā kulalā vā Vin. IV, 40.—As bird (of the dead) frequenting places of interment and cremation, often with other carcass-eating animals (sigāla, gijjha) Sn. 201; PvA. 198 (=dhaṅka); cp. kākoḷa.—In cpds. often used derisively.—f. kākī J. II, 39, 150; III, 431.
—āmasaka “touching as much as a crow, ” attr. of a person not enjoying his meals DhA. IV, 16; DhsA. 404; —uṭṭepaka a crow-scarer, a boy under fifteen, employed as such in the monastery grounds Vin. I, 79 cp. 371. —opamā the simile of the crow DhA. II, 75. —orava “crow-cawing, ” appld to angry and confused words Vin. I, 239, cp. IV. 82; —ôlūka crows and owls J. II, 351; DhA. I, 50; Mhbv 15; —guyha (tall) enough to hide a crow (of young corn, yava) J. II, 174; cp. J. trsl. II. 122; —nīḷa a crow’s nest J. II, 365; —paññā “crow-wisdom, ” i.e. foolishness which leads to ruin through greed J. V, 255, 258; cp. VI, 358; —paṭṭanaka a deserted village, inhabited only by crows J. VI, 456; —pāda crow’s foot or footmark Vism. 179 (as pattern); —peyya “(so full) that a crow can easily drink of it, ” full to the brim, overflowing, of a pond: samatittika k° “with even banks and drinkable for crows” (i.e. with the water on a level with the land) D. I, 244; S. II, 134 (do.); D. II, 89; M. I, 435; A. III, 27; J. II, 174; Ud. 90; cp. note to J. trsl. II. 122; PvA. 202. See also peyya. —bhatta “a crow’s meal, ” i.e. remnants left from a meal thrown out for the crows J. II, 149; —vaṇṇa “crow-coloured” N. of a king Mhvs 2211; —vassa the cry of a crow Vin. II, 17; —sīsa the head of a crow J. II, 351; as adj. : having a crow’s head, appld to a fabulous flying horse D. II, 174; cp. J. II, 129; —sūra a “crow-hero, ” appl. to a shameless, unconscientious fellow Dh. 244; DhA. III, 352; —ssaraka (having a voice) sounding like a crow Vin. I, 115. (Page 202)
Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.
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