Kesava Jataka, Kesava-jātaka: 2 definitions

Introduction

Introduction:

Kesava 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 next»] — Kesava Jataka in Theravada glossary
Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

The ascetic Kesava lived in Himava with five hundred pupils. The Bodhisatta, having been born as Kappa, a brahmin of Kasi, joined him and became his senior pupil. When the ascetics went to Benares for salt and vinegar, the king lodged them in his park and fed them, and when they returned to Himava, persuaded Kesava to stay behind. Kesava fell ill of loneliness, and the five physicians of the king could not cure him. At his own request he was taken to the Himalaya by the kings minister, Narada, and there, on seeing again his familiar haunts and his pupil Kappa, he immediately recovered, though his medicine was but the broth of wild rice.

The king of the Jataka is Ananda, Narada is Sariputta, and Kesava, Baka Brahma.

The story was related to Pasenadi. Having discovered that Anathapindika daily fed five hundred monks in his house, the king gave orders that the same should be done in his palace. One day he discovered that the monks would take the food from the palace, but would eat that which was given to them elsewhere by those who served them because they loved them. When the king reported this to the Buddha, the Buddha pointed out to him that the best food was that which was given in love; love was the best flavouring for food (J.iii.142-5; iii.362; S.i.144; SA.i.165).

According to the Dhammapada Commentary (DhA.i.342ff), the king personally looked after the monks for seven days, after which he forgot about them and they were uncared for. Thereupon they omitted to go to the palace.

The story of the past as given in this Commentary differs considerably from the Jataka version. Here Kesava is described as a king who had left the world and become an ascetic. The ascetics left the royal park, disliking the noise there, but they left Kappa with Kesava. Soon after, Kappa went away, and it was then that Kesava fell ill.

Kesava is identified with the Bodhisatta, Kappa with Ananda, the king of Benares with Moggallana, and Narada with Sariputta.

It was this reluctance of the Sakyan monks to accept Pasenadis hospitality which led him to seek marriage with a Sakyan maiden; but the Sakyans gave him Vasabhakhattiya (q.v.).

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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