Buddhist Fables

Buddhist Classics

Life and Legends of Buddha

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

037 – The Story of Vinilaka

Once, a golden gander paired with a female crow, who gave birth to an offspring. They called him Vinilaka (Dingy), as he was neither golden like his father; nor black like his mother. The gander was also married to a resplendent white goose, who gave birth to two wise, white and comely ganders.

The female crow and her son lived in Mithila. So, the gander often visited her and his son, Vinilaka there. One day, when he returned from Mithila, the two young ganders asked him as to where was he coming from. The father said that he had been to Mithila to visit his other son, who was born of a female crow. As he was his father too, as he was theirs, so he had visited him in Mithila. The two young ones then thought of helping their father. So, they proposed to bring Vinilaka to their abode.

Having obtained the address of Vinilaka and the consent of his father to bring Vinilaka, they flew to Mithila. There, after greeting Vinilaka and introducing themselves, they conveyed their intention to carry him to their father. Vinilaka happily welcomed the invitation. So, the two asked him to perch on a stick, which they could hold by their beaks and fly to their abode.

When Vinilaka was thus being flown, Videha, the king of Mithila was visiting some place on his royal chariot underneath. His chariot had four milky-white horses. Seeing the king being carried by four white horses on the land and he himself being carried by two white ganders in the air he thought that he was greater than the king. So, he shouted, “I am the Greatest. I am superior to king Videha, because he is being carried by the white horses on the land; but I have the subjects, who carry me in the air”. The two ganders were offended and thought of dropping him on the ground. But considering the possible grief of their father they silently brought him before the latter. But they informed him what Vinilaka had uttered on the way. The father gander also considered that Vinilaka was not fit to stay with them. So, he asked him to go back to Mithila. The two ganders again carried Vinilaka and flew to his city. There, they dropped him on the heap of dung and flew back. Since then Vinilika lived there, in the place most suitable to him.

See Vinilaka Jataka Jataka Pali No. 160.