Wednesday, August 29, 2007

the Immoral of it all

Im not a great one for Jataka Tales - but i got a chance to read a translation this evening and heres how it goes

The Sambula Jatakaya may be taken here as an example (Amaramoli 1962: 250-258)
  1. source http://www.lines-magazine.org/Art_Nov04/Bindun.htm

    King Bambadat of Varanasi appoints his grown son to succeed him, and makes the princess, Sambula, his consort.

  2. She is most beautiful, with skin so lovely it glows like a lantern in a dark unlit place.

  3. They live happily together for some time. The heir-apparent then breaks out in a terrible rash.

  4. Informing the King it is better to die alone, he leaves his harem behind, yet as he tries his best to take leave of his wife Sambula, he finds he cannot not do so, and takes her with him.

  5. He builds a temple in a beautiful forest, and resides there.

  6. Saying, “My Lord! Do not fear, I shall attend to all your needs,” Sambula worships him and goes into the forest with a basket and tools to pull out roots and pluck fruit. She brings a basket of fruit to the temple daily, then fills a pot with water and bathes the king with many herbal balms and ointments. She feeds him sweet fruit, gives him scented nectar to drink, and covers his wooden bed with the branches of trees to make it comfortable. When he is asleep, she attends to all their other needs, washes herself, eats her own meal of fruit, and then sleeps next to him.

  7. One day on her way back from the forest, she sees a rocky pond, and placing the fruit basket on the ground, goes into the fresh water and bathes. Applying turmeric to her body, she sits on a rock. The forest delighted in the beauty of her body as if the forest was covered with the rays of gold.

  8. A rakshaya flying by, seeing a princess more alluring than all the golden women of the heavens, and falls in love with her. The rakshaya says to her, “The whole forest glistens as if gilded in gold because of you, I bow before thee! – Who art thou?’

  9. The Princess says, “I am Sambula, wife of Soththisena, the son of the King of Varanasi, in the City of Kasi.”
    “Why serve a prince so severely diseased, so helpless and alone? I will make you the favorite of my harem, with hundreds of the finest performers, dancers and musicians, you shall be their Queen, and delight in whatever you wish. I shall be your husband.”

  10. “Rakshaya! My husband is sick; I sorrow for him day and night. What is this beauty you see in me, my clothes so rough and rude? This forest abounds in nymphs, goddesses and Naga damsels. Select one of them. What use could you derive from me? Do not pursue me.”

  11. “What anyone most enjoys in this world belongs to me. Come with me, let us make the most supreme love. If you do not willingly come with me, I shall take you by force to live with me. If you still refuse to live with me, I shall kill and eat you.”

  12. “This rakshaya will take me, pluck off my hands and legs like stripping sugarcane, but this will not sadden me.’ What is grief to me is if the king so sick for a long time thinks that Sambula, being so young and pretty, so much so no one’s eyes can turn away from her, is late returning – because I was making love with another…”

  13. Sakra, the king of the gods then appears and warns the rakshaya. The rakshaya listens in fear to what Sakra says, and lets the princess go. Sakra, thinking this rakshaya may harm her, then whisks the rakshaya off to another mountain, and returns to heaven.

  14. As the sun sets, the princess walks back to the temple in the moonlight. The king hearing movement thinks Sambula’s lover is returning with her to kill him. The king hides and watches.

  15. The Buddha then said to those assembled thus: Sambula returned to the temple that day in the moonlight. She could not find her husband, and with great sorrow, walked here and there, crying…

  16. Soththisena, seeing his wife in great sorrow, her heart at the point of breaking, shivering and begging for help from the gods, appears at the door of the temple.

  17. The heir-apparent Soththisena says, “Women are fickle, and cannot be understood. Just as one cannot determine the course of fish swimming in the water, and of birds flying in the air, the nature of women too cannot be fathomed.” Sambula then performs sathiyakriya, resolute in her own fidelity.

  18. Due to the power of her fidelity, the husband’s rash is cured. Crowned King, Sambula is made Queen.

  19. The King, however, ignores his Queen and spends his hours frolicking with his harem. Sambula, overcome with shame and jealousy, grows weaker day by day.

cut and pasters comment : - uhm, there is a moral in there somewhere.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Al
I have some questions to ask from shakra who treat humans with double standerds.when the king was sick he came to the rescue. you know what I mean.afrer all king was benefited. when the cured king slept with many, why he didnt show up. Is it because the shakra also do the same. or the act was taken for granted.
upali

Anonymous said...

I looked up the internet and found this is incomplete. The ending seems to be different. The king gets chastised and repents.

al juhara said...

ayyo send me the link will you!

Anonymous said...

http://www.borobudur.tv/avadana_06.htm

This is the link. Hope it helps.