Visavanta Jataka, Visavanta-jātaka: 1 definition



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

The Bodhisatta was once a snake bite doctor, and, on one occasion, when a countryman had been bitten by a snake, the doctor ordered the snake to be brought and asked it to suck the poison out of the wound. This the snake refused to do even though threatened with death by the doctor.

The story was told in reference to a vow taken by Sariputta. Some villagers once brought some meal cakes to the monastery, and when the monks present there had eaten, it was suggested that what remained should be saved for those monks who were absent in the village. This was done, but a young colleague of Sariputta, arriving very late, found that Sariputta had already eaten his portion, whereat he was very disappointed. Sariputta immediately vowed never again to touch meal cakes, and the Buddha said that Sariputta would never return to anything which he had once renounced. The snake is identified with Sariputta. J.i.310f.

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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