6 October 2022

#62. Kumbha

2 min read

Cave No. 16

Identification: Schlingloff (1977a, p. 467 f.)—

At a time when alcoholic drinks did not exist, a hunter found a cut in a tree from which came drop by drop an intoxicating drink for natural fermentation. With the help of an ascetic, he produced and sold the beverage in the royal cities with a great success. This is how the world came to know about the magic of intoxicating liquor.

Indra noticed from the heavens above that a king had become a hopeless addict. His kingdom had landed in chaos. To save the kingdom from annihilation, Indra disguised himself as a forestdwelling brahman and went to the alcoholic king’s court. He offered a kumbha (jug) of intoxicating potion, which was only sold to those who were willing to accept the disastrous results of liquor consumption. The king was surprised at the seller’s behaviour. It was then that Indra revealed his identity. He explained to the king about the evil effects of alcoholism. He persuaded the king and his men to give it up and returned back to his heavenly abode.—Indra was none other than the Buddha in a former existence.

—Source: Singh 2019, 31-33; Schlingloff 2013, I, 289

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