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Losaka Jātaka (No.41)

In the time of Kassapa Buddha there lived a monk who was maintained by a rich man of the district. Into the monastery belonging to this rich man there came one day an Arahant, and the former, liking his appearance, asked him to stay in the monastery, promising to look after him. The Arahant agreed, but the incumbent of the monastery grew jealous and told their patron that the Arahant was lazy and good for nothing. Some food sent by the patron for the Arahant the incumbent threw into the embers. The Arahant, reading his thoughts, left and went elsewhere. The monk was seized with remorse and was reborn in hell. In five hundred successive births he was a yakkha, with never enough to eat; during a further five hundred births he was a dog. Then he was born, under the name of Mittavindaka, in a poor family in Kāsi. Because of him, dire misfortune befell the family, and he was driven out. In Bārāṇasī he became a charity scholar under the Bodhisatta, who was a teacher there, but he was so quarrelsome that he was sent away. He married a poor woman and had two children. For a while he was a teacher, but the village in which he lived earned the king’s displeasure seven times, their houses caught fire and the water dried up. Having discovered the cause, the villagers drove out Mittavindaka and his family. In a haunted forest the wife and children were eaten up by demons.

In his wanderings Mittavindaka came to a coastal village, Gambhīra, where he took service in a ship. On the seventh day of the voyage the ship suddenly stopped sailing. Lots were cast, and seven times the lot fell on Mittavindaka, so they put him on a raft and lowered him overboard. He was cast ashore on an island where lived four vimāna petas in palaces of crystal, and he enjoyed happiness with them for seven days. From there he went to an island where lived eight goddesses in palaces of silver, thence to another where lived sixteen in palaces of jewels, thence to another still where lived thirty-two in palaces of gold. In each he stayed seven days. From the last he went to an island of ogres. There he seized an ogress wandering about in the shape of a goat, and, when she kicked him, he was hurled into the dry moat of Bārāṇasī. There goatherds were keeping watch for thieves, and when Mittavindaka seized a goat, hoping to be kicked back to his original place, he was caught. As he was being led away, the Bodhisatta saw and recognised him and persuaded the goatherds to allow him to have him as a slave.

The story was told in reference to Losaka Tissa, with whom Mittavindaka is identified. J.i.234‑46.

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