21 May 2022

#61. Bhūridatta

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Cave No. 2

Identification: Schlingloff 2013.—

A nāga (serpent) king sent his representatives to propose to the daughter of the king of Banaras. But the king was not agreeable to the concept of a human-nāga union. Later, he agreed on the condition that the nāgas would not harm anybody. After marriage, the princess gave birth to four sons. Her second son, Bhūridatta, was not satisfied in his magnificent palace and departed with the avowed aim of practising asceticism so that he could be reborn in Indra’s heaven. He suffered many hardships because of evil brahmans. Finally, he was brought back to his palace by his relatives, where he exposed the futility of sacrifices and rituals performed by brahmans and shed light on their caste-related hubris.—The cobra Bhūridatta was none other than the Buddha in a former existence.

—Source: Singh 2019, 31-33; Schlingloff 2013, I, 287

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