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Story of the Golden Swan
The Illustrated Jataka & Other Stories of the Buddha by C.B. Varma
|010 - The Story of the Golden Swan|
the Buddha was born as a virtuous house-holder in Varanasi. He worked
hard to maintain his small family of a wife and three daughters. After
his death he was reborn as a golden swan with the consciousness of his
day, being overwhelmed with the memory of the family of his previous
birth, he visited them in his old house in Varanasi. There, he introduced
himself and informed them of his previous lifeís relationship. Later,
before saying good-bye, he offered them one golden feather and advised
them to sell it in the market to overcome their poverty.
then he was a regular visitor to his old family; and upon every visit he
offered them one golden feather. With the proceeds of the feathers, soon
the family overcame its poverty.
mother of the daughters was, however, greedy and cruel. She wanted to be
much richer in much less time. So, one day, she advised her daughters to
pluck out all the feathers of the bird upon his next visit and become rich
in no time. The daughters strongly opposed her malicious intention and
warned her to refrain from any cruel act, which could pain their
time, when the bird visited the family, the wife coaxed him to come near
her. When he hopped on her lap, she seized him violently and plucked out
his feathers. But to her surprise and disappointment what she could pluck
was just the ordinary feathers. This was because the birdís feathers
were to change into ordinary ones when plucked against his wish.
poor bird in his great agony tried hard to fly but could not. The woman
then threw him away into an abandoned barrel. When his daughters saw him
groaning in severe pain they gave him necessary first aid and took care of
him until his fresh wings once again grew. He then flew again. But this
time when he flew he never came back again.
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