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Story of Ghat: The Virtuous King
The Illustrated Jataka & Other Stories of the Buddha by C.B. Varma
|052 - Ghat: The Virtuous King|
the Bodhisatta was born in Varanasi as the son of king Brahmadatta with
the name Ghata. Educated in Taxila he acquired the knowledge of arts and
the like subjects useful to any ruler. When became the king he ruled his
One day, when he entered his harem he saw his minister committing misconduct with the queen. The king punished him by banishing him from his kingdom.
Ghata at the palace door witnessing the misconduct of his minister in the royal harem.
disgruntled man then went to Savatthi and entered into the service of King
Vanka. Soon he won his favour by divulging the military secrets of the
Varanasi kingdom and instigated him to attack Varanasi.
forces of Savatthi invaded Varanasi. And despite the stiff resistance put
by the army, King Ghata lost the battle. Then, captured and chained he was
dragged and thrown into a prison. When he entered the prison he sat on
meditation. At that point of time, the King Vanka felt burning heat in his
palace; so, he strolled about the prison. There, he saw Ghata sitting
cross-legged in the air and meditating. His face was bright and looked
like a fully bloomed lotus. The king was curious to know why Ghata neither
looked sad; nor scared though confined in an enemy’s prison. So, he
how do you have the smiling face with no fears ?
grieve to change the sorrow of the past is in vain
Why should I then complain
As the act of the grief shall have no consequence to the future
why should I allow it to mature.
was impressed with the words of the prisoner and restored him his kingdom.
But Ghata handed it over to his ministers for the benevolent rule and
retired to the Himalayas to lead the life of an asetic.
Note: Pali Jataka No.454 is also called the Ghata Jataka but that narrates the story of Kanha, resembling the stories of Krishna.
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