Sigala Jataka, Sigāla-jātaka: 2 definitions


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

1. Sigala Jataka (No.113). The people of Benares once held a sacrifice to the Yakkhas, placing meat and liquor in their courtyards. A jackal, who entered the city through a sewer, regaled himself with food and drink and then went to sleep in some bushes in the city. He did not awake till morning, and then, looking for a way of escape, met a brahmin. Promising to show him a spot where lay hidden two hundred pieces of gold, he persuaded the brahmin to carry him out of the city in his waist cloth. Arrived at the cemetery, he asked the brahmin to spread his robe and dig under a tree. While the brahmin dug, the jackal fouled the robe and ran away. The Bodhisatta, then a tree sprite, advised the brahmin to wash his robe and cease being a fool.

The story was told in reference to Devadatta, who is identified with the jackal. J.i.424 26.

2. Sigala Jataka (No.142). Once, during a festival in Benares, some rogues were drinking and eating till late at night, and when the meat was finished, one of them offered to go to the charnel field and kill a jackal for food. Taking a club, he lay down as though dead. The Bodhisatta, then king of the jackals, came there with his flock, but in order to make sure that it was a corpse, he pulled at the club. The man tightened his grip, and the Bodhisatta mocked at his silliness. The man then threw the club at the jackals, but they escaped.

The story was told in reference to Devadatta, who is identified with the rogue. J.i.489f.

3. Sigala Jataka (No.148). The Bodhisatta was once born as a jackal, and, coming across the dead body of an elephant, ate into it from behind and lived inside it. When the body dried up, he became a prisoner and made frenzied efforts to escape. Then a storm broke, moistening the hide and allowing him to emerge through the head, but not without losing all his hair as he crawled through. He thereupon resolved to renounce greediness.

The story was told in reference to five hundred companions, rich men of Savatthi, who joined the Order. One night the Buddha perceived that they were filled with thoughts of lust. He therefore sent Ananda to summon all the monks in the monastery, and told this tale to illustrate the evil effects of desire. The five hundred monks became arahants. J.i.601f.

4. Sigala Jataka (No.152). The Bodhisatta was once a lion with six brothers and one sister. When the lions were away after food, a jackal who had fallen in love with the lioness told her of his love. She was greatly insulted, and resolved to tell her brothers and then die. The jackal slunk away and hid in a cave. One by one the lions came in, and when their sister told them of the insult, they tried to reach the jackal by leaping upwards, but perished in the attempt. At last came the Bodhisatta; being wise, be roared the lions roar three times and the jackal died.

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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