|01-30-2012, 01:29 AM||#11|
Join Date: Jul 2008
..".... Following Steven Collins, we can take a particularly vivid example from one of the Jataka stories (stories of the Buddha's previous lives, one of the most widely known genres of the Buddhist canon) , a story that is long and fascinating which I will all too briefly summarize. (*)
"Once upon a time there was a king of Beneres who ruled justly (dhammena). He had sixteen thousand woman, but did not obtain a son or a daughter from any of them." Indra the king of the gods, took pity on him and sent the future Buddha to be born as a son to his chief queen. The child was named Temiya, and his father was delighted with him. When he was a month old he was dressed up and brought to his father, who was so pleased with him that he held him in his lap as he held court. Just then four criminals were brought in, and the king sentenced one of them to be imprisoned, two to be lashed or struck with swords, and one to be impaled on a stake. Temiya was extremely upset and worried that his father would go to hell for his horrible deeds. The next day Temiya remembered his previous births, including that in the past he had been king of th is very city, and that, as a result of his actions he had subsequently spent 80,000 years in an especially terrible hell, where he had been cooked on hot metal in excruciating pain the whole time. He determined that this would not happen again, so he pretended to be lame deaf, and dumb, so that he could not succeed to the kingship.
Because he was beautiful and had a perfectly formed body, people found it had to believe in his defects, but because he was a future Buddha, he was able to resist all temptations to give himself away whether with loud noises, terrifying snakes, or beautiful girls. When he was 16b the soothsayers told the king that he would bring bad luck to the royal house and should be killed. His mother begged him to save himself by showing that he was without defect, but knowing what his fate would be if he succeeded to the kingship, he refused. Temiya was sent in his chariot to the charnel ground, where he was to be killed, but the gods saw to it thath the charioteer took him to the forest instead....
(to be con't)
~story retold by
Robert N. Bellah
Religion in Human Evolution
* this is the well know "Birth Story of the Dumb Cripple" (Mugapakkha Jataka, Ja.6.1ff ., no. 538)
For a complete translation see "The Story of Temiya the Dumb Cripple" in The
Jatakas: Birth Stories of the Bodhisatta, trans. Sarah Shaw (New Delhi Penguin, 2006), pg 179-221
From stone tablets to html code, it's not lost on me.
Last edited by MoJoRiSin : 01-30-2012 at 01:56 AM.
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