Buddhist Fables

Buddhist Classics

Life and Legends of Buddha

The Illustrated Jataka & Other Stories of the Buddha by C. B. Varma Introduction | Glossary | Bibliography

034 – The Leather Garment

Once the Bodhisatta was born in the family of merchants; and sold his products to the market. One day, when he was on a usual round of sale he saw a haughty mendicant clad in a leather garment. The mendicant was haughty because he had very high and false opinion of his spiritual achievements. He thought himself the greatest; and had the illusion that every creature in the world was there to honour him.

Soon the merchant saw a ram bowing before the mendicant and was about to attack him, as he was wearing a leather garment, which it had not liked. But the brahmin, on contrary, thought that the animal was bowing before him to honour him. The merchant, who was witnessing the whole scene from distance, however, warned the brahmin by shouting,

O Brahmin ! Don’t be rash to trust an animal
As it would make you fall.
If it goes back
It would jump and attack.

But before the brahmin could hear what the merchant was saying, the ram attacked and knocked him down on the ground, where he lay groaning in pain; and before the merchant could attend to him for some first aid he succumbed to the injury.

The merchant, ascetic and the ram (left). The ram knocks down the ascetic, Bharhut

See Chamma-Sataka Jataka Jataka Pali no. 324.