This Sunday I would like to present a story about the power of jealousy and endless desire. I always thank the Buddha for all the lessons I have learned from Dhammapada and Jataka since I was very young. These lessons teach me to be a good person, how to live my life well and peacefully.
Losaka Tissa Thera
He was the son of a fisherman of Kosala. In his village lived one thousand families, and on the day of his conception they all had to starve and various misfortunes gradually befell them. By a process of exclusion, they discovered that their misfortunes were due to Losakas family, and therefore drove them out. As soon as Losaka could walk, his mother put a potsherd into his hand and sent him to beg. He wandered about uncared for, picking up lumps of rice like a crow.
One day, when he was seven years old, thera Sariputta saw him and, feeling pity for him, ordained him. But he was always unlucky; wherever he went, begging for alms, he received but little and never had a real meal. In due course he became an arahant, and when the time came for him to die Sariputta determined that he should have a proper meal. He went with Losaka to Savatthi, but no one would even notice them. He then took Losaka back to the monastery and, having collected food himself, sent it to Losaka, but the messengers entrusted with it ate it all themselves. It was afternoon when Sariputta discovered this; he therefore went to the kings palace and, having obtained a bowl filled with catumadhura (honey, ghee, butter and sugar), took it to Losaka and asked him to eat out of the bowl as he (Sariputta) held it, in case the food should disappear. That night Losaka died, and a shrine was erected over his ashes (J.i.234f). When the Buddha was asked why Losaka was so unlucky, he related the Losaka Jataka (q.v.). Losaka is identified with Mittavindaka of that story.
Losaka Tissa's past lives
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 Kasi. Because of him, dire misfortune befell the family, and he was driven out. In Benares 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 kings 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, Gambhira, 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 vimana 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 Benares. 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 recognized 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.
Love Buddha's dhamma,
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