|A scene from Vessantara Jataka at Wat Phnom (Source: Wikipedia)|
Acknowledgement: KI-Media would like to thank Lok Chanda Chhay for graciously sending over the link to his website and all the audio parts to the "smotr". May Buddha bless you forever!
Below is a poetic story (Smote) of Maha Vesandor Jataka (Jeadok). There are 13 Kants in total. Due to their length, Kants 5 and 13 were broken into 2 portions each.
A very special thank to the Venerable Po Piseth who has composed or additionally composed the story lines and for his organization of the project.
ខាងក្រោមនេះគឺជាកំណាព្យ ស្មូត រឿង មហាវេសន្តរជាតក ដែលនិពន្ធ រៀបរៀង ដោយ ព្រះតេជគុណ ប៉ូ ពិសិដ្ឋ និងស្មូតដោយភិក្ខុ ដោក ដុម ឧបាសិកា អ៊ឹម ថុល នេត លីអេង នេត មុំ សុខ សារឹម លោក សុខ វឌ្ឍនៈ និងលោក ព្រហ្ម ឈុំ ។
សូមថ្លែងអំណរគុណដ៏ជ្រាលជ្រៅ ដល់ព្រះតេជគុណ ប៉ូ ពិសិដ្ឋ និងក្រុមការងារ ដែលបាន រៀបចំ បង្កើត រឿង មហាវេសន្តរជាតក នេះឡើង ។
សូម ឧទិសកុសល ផលបុណ្យ ជូនដល់ ព្រះតេជគុណ ព្រមទាំង សហការី សូមប្រកប តែនឹង ពុទ្ធពរ បួនប្រការ គឺ អាយុ វណ្ណៈ សុខៈ ពលៈ ជានិច្ច ៕
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
When Gautama Buddha visited his father's kingdom for the first time after he achieved the supreme enlightenment, arrogant elders of the ruling dynasty did not pay him respect, since they were older than 'Siddhartha Rajakumar'. The Buddha miraculously appeared in the air above his relatives. His father was the first to bow down and admitted that this was his third time to pay respect to his own son. Members of the dynasty then bowed down and accepted the religion. Suddenly, rain clouds gathered and a red-drop rain appeared. This miracle led to his followers' asking, "What is this rain?" He then explained that this rain had appeared once before, during his last life before his present life. Then, he told them the story of his previous life as King Vessantara.
King Vessantara (ព្រះវេសន្តរ) was the son of Sañjaya, king of Sivirattha (Sivi-Rashtra), and was born in the capital city of Jatuttara as a Bodhisatta.
His mother, according to tradition, was a princess who made great merit and wished to become the mother of a future Bodhisatta who would be the next Buddha. After she died, the princess ascended to the Celestial Kingdom and became one of the god Indra's consorts. She lived happily until the day she had to be reborn again as a human. Indra gave her 10 boons and one of them was 'Let me become the mother of Bodhisatta, who in his next life will achieve enlightenment'. She descended to the human world, was born to the court of a king, and later married to King Sañjaya.
On the last day of her pregnancy, the Queen wished to sight-see in the capital city. Her husband granted her that wish. She visited several districts, and the people were delighted by their queen. While she was in the merchant quarter, she gave birth in an emergency delivery at the bazaar, in the heart of the city. Therefore, the new-born prince and heir was named Vessantara, which means 'Born in the merchant quarter'. As soon as he opened his eyes, the infant prince asked his mother for money to give to the poor. On the same day, a female elephant brought her new born calf to the royal palace. The calf was pure white.
Vessantara grew up to be a kind person who was willing to give away his belongings to others. His parents were delighted by their son's character and supported the prince's charity with their treasures. Vessantara married princess Maddi (មេទ្រី). They had 2 children: the Prince Jali (ជាលី) and the Princess Kanhajina (ក្រឹស្នា). Sañjaya retired and Vessantara was crowned King.
One day Vessantara gave away the magical white elephant, which had brought rain to his kingdom, to envoys from Kalinga, a neighboring country which was facing a drought. The citizens of Vessantara's kingdom were distressed by the fear of drought because of the loss of the elephant. Thus, they convinced King Sanjaya to resume control of the kingdom and banish his son Vessantara.
The king readily gave away his kingdom to his father. Before leaving the city and going to live in the forest as a hermit with his wife Maddi and their two children, he also gave away his wealth.
One of his loyal courtiers suggested that the family should live at Vamka Mountain. They left the city on a four-horse chariot. Along the way; Vessantara gave away his horses and four deities appeared in the form of stags to pull the chariot. Then he gave away his chariot. The family walked on foot through a forest. The young prince and princess saw wild fruit hanging on high branches, but their parents could not reach it. Miraculously, all the trees bent their branches for them.
The family then arrived at the neighbouring kingdom of Ceti. The king of Ceta was informed of their arrival and rushed to greet the prince. He was touched by their story and offered his throne, but the prince declined. He and his family also declined to stay in a palace. The king of Ceta ordered a hunter to patrol the entrance to Vamka Mountain, to prevent anyone from disturbing the family.
Meanwhile Jujaka (តាជូជក), a greedy old Brahmin who lived as a beggar, had a very young wife, Amittada, (អមិត្តធីតា) who was also very beautiful and hard-working. During the drought Amittada used to regularly bring water from the well for her old husband. The husbands of the other women in the village held her up as an example of a good industrious wife. One day, in a fit of jealousy, all the village women gathered by the well and beat up the Brahmin's young wife, tearing her clothes.
From that day onwards the girl stubbornly refused to go to the well any longer. Amittada harassed Jujaka telling him to find her some servants in order to spare her more ridicule. She didn't give her husband any peace.
Jujaka met the hunter guarding the entrance to Vamka Mountain and tricked him. He met a rishi and tricked him, as well. Finally, the Brahmin Jujaka went to the forest to prince Vessantara while his wife Maddi was away. He asked him for his two children, which Vessantara readily gave away. Jali and Kanha went to hide in a lotus pond. Their father found them and asked if they would help their father achieve his highest goal. Both agreed and became Jujaka's slaves. Vessantara told the Brahmin to bring his children to their grandfather, saying, "The king will reward you for bringing his beloved grandchildren back to them". Jujaka disagreed, stating the Sunjaya would execute him instead. The Brahmin tied both children with vines and dragged them like cattle. Both children begged their father to help them while the old man scolded and beat them with his stick. Vessantara could not stand this scene and reached for his weapon he kept in his hut. However, he overcame all anger and let his children be taken away.
Maddi's return passage to their resident was blocked by tigers (gods in disguise). When she didn't see her children, she wandered around all night looking for them and finally collapsed before her husband. Vessatara thought she was dead so he lamented his loss. He put her head on his lap and realised that she was still breathing. He revived Maddi with water. She woke up and rose immediately as the couple had taken a vow of celibacy and were not supposed to touch each other. Vessantara told her the what had happened. After Maddi learnt that her husband gave away their children, she praised him for his greatness.
Fearing that Vessantara would have given away his wife as well, God Indra intervened and in disguise, asked for his wife Maddi, which Vessantara readily gave him as well. Then Indra gave Maddi back to Vessantara as a trust, for all his acts of benevolence and generosity had been perfect.
A god and a goddess felt sympathy for the young prince and princess. They disguised themselves as their parents and helped nurse Jali and Kanha. They made Jujaka take a wrong turn and led him to into Sivi Kingdom and through the palace gate. King Sanjaya saw two familiar faces and ordered royal guards to bring them to him. He recognized his grandchildren and paid for their price. Kanha's price was higher than her brother's, as her father wanted no one to buy her from Jujaka. In fact, both Jali and Kanha's prices were so high that only the wealthy king Sanjaya of Sivi could have bought them.
Jujaka became extremely rich. At his first meal as a rich man, he ate too much. His digestive system failed and he fell dead upon his plate. King Sanjaya sent his men to find Jujaka's family to inherit his wealth; however, his wife and in-laws were afraid of the punishment for Jujaka's treason, so they escaped.
Sanjaya arranged a grand procession to meet his son and daughter-in-law. The Kingdom of Kalinga also returned the white elephant, now that Kalinga had become prosperous again, abating the anger of the people of Sivi. Jali led the army and men to his parents' residence and the family was reunited. After the most happy moment, all six of them collapsed.
The red rain poured down from Heaven to revive the family. This rain "soaks those who want to be soaked, but will not fall on those who want to stay dry." Vessantara was crowned as king again and returned to his kingdom. Indra blessed Sivi Kingdom with a seven-gem rain. Vessantara allowed people to keep those gems for themselves and the leftover went into the Kingdom treasury, which he used for his charity. He was also given the blessing of never running out of treasure for his charity.
Lord Buddha explained that each figure had been reborn as people surrounding him. His parents were Vessantara's parents. Maddi was reborn as his former wife. Jali became Rahul, his son. Kanha became Ubolvanna, the Bhikuni (female monk). The loyal courtier who informed him of the place he should stay became Anada, his cousin and attendant. Jujaka became Devadutt, his arch enemy. The white elephant became Maha Kassapaya.