Varuni Jataka

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was the Treasurer of Benares, and had a tavern-keeper who lived under his protection. This man having got ready a supply of strong spirits, which he left his apprentice to sell while he himself went off the bathe, during his absence his apprentice mixed salt with the liquor, and spoiled it just in the same way. When on his return the young man’s guide and master came to know what had been done, he told the story to the Treasure. ‘Truly,’ said the latter, ‘the ignorant and foolish, with every desire to do good, only succeed in doing harm.’ And he recited this stanza:

                        “Tis knowledge crowns endeavour with success;

                        For fools are thwarted by their foolishness,

                        -Witness Kondanna’s salted bowl of grog.

In these lines the Bodhisatta taught the truth.

 

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