6 October 2022

#34. Kṣāntivādin

2 min read

Identification: Oldenburg (1895, narrative no. 12); Lüders (1902, p. 758 f. = trans. 1903, p. 326 f.).—There was an ascetic, Kṣāntivādin (Preacher of Meekness and Forgiveness), who lived and preached in a forest. On a hot summer’s day, a king came to the forest with his female companions. They took a communal dip in pond. After the lively bath session, the king fell fast asleep, while his companions explored the forest, ultimately reaching the ascetic’s hermitage. They sat around him and listened to his preaching. When the king awoke, he noticed the ladies’ absence and went in search of them. When he found them listening to the ascetic in rapt attention, he rushed towards him with his sword, accusing him of stealing the ladies. The ascetic spoke to the king softly but the king cut off his hands and other limbs. At this, the king was swallowed by the earth. The ascetic promised to his ministers that their country would not suffer due to the king’s sin as he ascended to the heavens.—The brahman ascetic Kṣāntivādin was none other than the Buddha in a former existence.

Source: Singh 2019, 31-33; Schlingloff 2013, I, 154

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