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Story of The Box of the Monster
The Illustrated Jataka & Other Stories of the Buddha by C.B. Varma
Box of the Monster
The monster and the woman, the Thai version
the Bodhisatta lived as a hermit in the Himalayan foothills. He lived on
the wild fruits and had developed great supernatural powers. Not far from
his hut there lived a monster, who was attracted to the teachings of the
Bodhisatta and often visited him to listen to his sermons. Yet, the
influence of the sage did not transform his basic instinct, and he
continued to practise killing men and eating them.
One day, a gorgeous young lady of Kashi was on her way to her parents. When she entered the forest escorted by her armed men, the monster saw them; and attacked them by assuming a terrible form. No sooner than the lady’s men saw the monster they all fled by dropping their weapons and leaving the lady and her carriage behind. Bewitched by the beauty of the maiden the monster thought of marrying her; and not to kill or eat her. So, he brought her to his cave and made her his wife. Since then, he fed her ghee, honey, husked rice, fish and meat and so on and brought her the costliest dress and ornaments. But he did not trust her loyalty. So, to keep her guarded, he placed her in a box, which he swallowed and kept inside his tummy.
day, he went to a lake to take bath. So, he spat out the box and threw it
on the shore. He then took out his woman and anointed her and bathed her
in the lake. Then he dressed her in a pretty dress and let her move freely
on the shore to enjoy the fresh breath and went to the lake for a dip.
the monster was off to the lake the woman saw the son of Vayu (Wind),
walking through air with a sword tied in his waist. He was a great
magician. Attracted to the magician’s personality, she beckoned him for
amusement. When the magician came down, she asked him to enter the box quickly and hide there if he wanted to have fun with her. And
before the monster could return, she herself slid inside the box and sat
on top of him by covering him with her dress.
When the monster returned, he swallowed the box in a routine course and flew to the abode of the hermit to hear his discourse.
The hermit welcomed him
and said, “I welcome you three!.” Surprised the monster asked, “Why
‘three’ when I am with my wife only.” The hermit then told him the
truth and informed him that the dangerous magician was also sitting inside
learnt that the magician was inside his tummy with a sword; and was likely
to rip open his belly, he spat out the box instantly and discovered what
the hermit had said was true. Luckily, the magician had not fully drawn
out his sword by then though he had opened the box. And no sooner than the
box was dropped on the ground Vayu Putta, which was the name of the
magician, wafted in the air with his sword and dissolved into the air. Had
the magician remained a little longer in the belly he would have certainly
killed the monster by his sword.
saved by the ascetic’s knowledge the monster bowed before him and
thanked him for saving his life.
The Bodhisatta in turn advised him to set the woman free; and tread the path of virtuousity.
Samugga Jataka Jataka
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