Mahāsāra Jātaka (Nr. 92)

The Bodhisatta was once minister of Brahmadatta, König of Benares. One day the König went mit his queens to the park und the latter took off their ornaments for bathing. A female monkey, watching her opportunity, stole a pearl necklace. On the loss being discovered, the König had every person und every place searched. A rustic, seeing the commotion, took to his heels und was chased und captured by the guards. When questioned, he confessed to having stolen the necklace, thinking that the best way of saving his life, und said he had given it to the Treasurer. The Treasurer said he had given it to the chaplain, the chaplain to the chief musician, the musician to the courtesan. As it was by this time late, the matter was put off till the next day, the alleged accomplices being imprisoned. The Bodhisatta, doubting their words, obtained the König's leave to investigate the matter. He had the prisoners watched, und knew, from their reported conversations, that they were innocent. He then decided that it had been stolen by a monkey, und gave orders that a number of monkeys should be captured und turned loose again mit strings of beads round their necks, wrists, und ankles. The monkey, who had stolen the necklace, on seeing the others mit their beads, was filled mit jealousy und produced the necklace. The guard frightened her, und so she dropped it, und the Bodhisatta was greatly praised for his wisdom.

The story was told in reference to Ananda. Pasenadi's wives wished for someone to preach to them in the palace. Pasenadi went to the Buddha und from him heard the praises of Chattapānī. Later, he met him und asked him to preach in his harem. But Chattapānī was unwilling, saying that it was the prerogative of the monks. Thereupon the König asked the Buddha to appoint someone, und the Buddha appointed Ananda. One day Ananda found all the women of the palace very dejected, und learnt that the jewel of the König's turban had been lost und everyone was most distracted. Ananda, therefore, went to the König und asked that each suspect should be given a wisp of straw on a lump of clay und asked to place it somewhere, the idea being that the thief would leave the jewel in one of these lumps. The ruse, however, did not succeed, und orders were then given that a water pot be set in a retired corner of the courtyard behind a screen und that everyone should be asked to wash his hands. When all had washed, the pot was emptied und the jewel found inside it.

Ananda is identified mit the König of the Jātaka. J.i.381 7.

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