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The Wetsandon Jataka
translated by John Crocker

The Wetsandon Jataka is one of the Jataka stories which the Buddha told to his followers about his prior incarnations. This story is about the incarnation he assumed just before being born as Siddharta Gautama, who became the Buddha, or the Enlightened One.
The Buddhist Jataka Stories

After his enlightenment in about 500 BC, the Buddha achieved perfect knowledge, and, as a part of this knowledge, he was able to recall the details of his 547 previous existences, or incarnations on his path to enlightenment. The 547 previous existences comprised lives both as humans and animals, and each demonstrates an aspect of desirable behaviour. The Buddha recounted these stories to his followers over the forty years of his teaching between his enlightenment and his death at about 80. These stories are called the "Jataka Stories" and, although they were originally in oral form, they have long been recorded in written form.

Of the 547 stories, the last ten stories are seen as being particularly important in providing uplifting examples of moral virtues. In Thailand they are called the Tosachat or "The Ten Incarnations". Each of these stories describes a desirable aspect of human behaviour which, taken together, will lead to eventual enlightenment. The ten aspects of behaviour are, in order, Renunciation, Perseverance, Loving Kindness, Resolution, Wisdom, Moral Practice, Forbearance, Equanimity, Truth and Charity. Many temples in Thailand have murals illustrating each of the ten stories, while others concentrate on the tenth story about charity.

The tenth and most important story concerns the life of the Prince Wetsandon (or Prince Vessantra) who represents the virtue of charity. This incarnation is seen as particularly important as it is the incarnation which the Buddha-to-be took before his birth as Siddharta Gautama of the Sakya family in Nepal.

In Thailand, each year, most temples devote a three day festival to the reading of the story of Prince Wetsandon. The festival is called the Thet Maha Chat or the "The Sermons on the Great Incarnation".

The Thet Maha Chat comprises thirteen sections, each dealing with a part of the life of Prince Wetsandon, including his disgrace for excessive generosity, his renunciation of worldly possessions, his retreat to a hermitage with his wife and children, his later gifts and his eventual return to his city in triumph. Each part of the story is read in Pali, the sacred language of Buddhism in Thailand, by a monk, and each reading is followed by a discussion by one or more monks on the meaning of that part of the story. Because most Thai people do not have an understanding of Pali, there is a summary of the story available in Thai.

This English version of the story of Prince Wetsandon was translated by John Crocker, an Asian Studies student, from a Thai summary book of the Thet Maha Chat given to Thai worshippers. As well as the story, each part in the book contains a summary of the discussion after the reading.

The thirteen parts of the Prince Wetsandon story are preceded by an introduction giving the circumstances where the Buddha first told the story of Prince Wetsandon some 2,500 years ago.

THE ORIGINS OF THE WETSANDON JATAKA

The Lord Buddha went from the great temple Weluwan near the city of Ratchakhru, which is the capital of Makhot, to the city of Kabinlaphat [Kapilavastu], in the district of Sakkachonabot. He went to make merit for the benefit of his relatives, headed by King Sutthothana, the father of the Buddha. Kaluthayi was the person who arranged the service and guided them. The Buddha, together with a large group of monks who were his followers, one hundred thousand in number, stayed at Nikhrotharam, not far from the capital city, while the Sakya clan arranged a welcoming offering. This brought happiness to Kabinlaphat. In that time, a miracle occurred which resulted in his telling the story of the Wetsandon Jataka.

Usually, when the Lord Buddha went into any place, happiness and contentment would come forth there because of the power of his teaching, which was given with great kindness, in the same way as a great cloud scatters streams of rain which comes down to earth as cool water. This makes the sultry heat of the sun's vapours cease and brightens the trees that were wilting, and makes them recover to joyfulness and beauty, with clusters of flowers and leaves. But, as for Kabinlaphat, where he was born and grew up to adulthood, neither his relatives nor the people sought happiness through the power of the Lord Buddha's teaching.

He came as the hope of all the people of the land. They were all waiting and thirsting with a desire to honour the king-emperor. However, surprisingly, he was still in his youth with black hair and there was no evidence of even the slightest deterioration in his body, all was completely healthy in all ways, as a man should be. His wife was extremely beautiful and was even more fortunate in having a son to join the royal family. He had cut the bonds to worldly things, and put aside their encirclement, and went out to the forest and behaved as if he was a wandering beggar; so disappointing and grieving all the people of the country for the six years while he created his life's work, and succeeded in achieving enlightenment . He then used this knowledge to go out to help humanity, and he wandered the world to spread the way to avoid suffering with his preaching and teaching, until all the people in the world accepted and honoured him in his position as the only true teacher. At this time the Buddha returned to Kabinlaphat, but the people of Kabinlaphat did not welcome him as the true teacher. They were all pleased for him in his previous position as their most favoured princely son.

On the first day that he arrived in his motherland, he saw that it was not opportune to give the sermon on the Teaching to the group of his relatives, because that day was the day that the minds and bodies of all the Sakya people were filled with excitement and merriment, and exhaustion as well as delight, with things to do. They were not in a proper state to receive and absorb the way of the Dhamma, so he waited for the next day. But then, in the afternoon of the next day, when all the Sakya clan members went to visit him at Nikhrotharam, he realised that the minds of some of his relatives were still not yet in a proper state to receive his teaching because there were some senior members of the clan who showed arrogance in the manner of "I was born before Prince Sitthattha [Siddartha]". They feared that they would lose their face as senior persons, if they showed respect by bowing, or were interested in the Buddhist teaching. So together they stayed far away; they were also awkward and hid themselves behind the arches and screens. They only allowed a group of young royal people to attend the Buddha nearby.

The Buddha noticed that the attitude of the group of elderly relatives was obstinate and stiff, and therefore there would be obstacles to prevent their benefiting [from the Dhamma], and this would raise barriers to the growth and development of their souls. That is, persevering pride and self-possession, saw it as a reason to hold back, as if it would trap the heart and soul of any person entered and possessed. This will only make for an abnormal state of the soul, like the root of the tree which is diseased, even though the rain will wet and water will drench it, and the earth is full of manure, the dead root is diseased by the germ, and so it does not let it absorb the nutritious things which feed the trunk of the tree; so that it must be stunted and in the end die. The future of anyone who has a mind to think with, but who stays in a state of perverse pride is like that.

With this in mind he saw that there was one duty before all others, which was to destroy this obstinacy, to clear away perverse pride with magic power. He meditated and having such strong mental powers, he was able miraculously to rise up in the air and and walk about in a circle. When he did only this, there was no doubt any more about who was born first. Then they all showed him respect with a full heart. When he went down to sit at the Buddha seat, there fell miraculous rain of a type which had never happened before. This miracle had the following characteristics-

1 the colour of the raindrops was red, the same as rubies,
2 anybody who wished to be wet was wetted, anybody who did not, did not even feel a mist on their skin,
3 the water did not settle and become dirty mud; when rain ceased, the area was cleansed

4 it fell only on the group of relatives, there were no other people who took part.

The food for thought in the miracle, by analogy, I think and publicly state, is as follows

Point 1: the colour of the rain is for the colour of the blood of appreciation. This day is the day that all the Sakya clan were waiting for and so to fulfill their hopes; when the Lord Buddha came back, and they were all delighted to be able to see his physical appearance. His complexion was pink and healthy, in the way that is called "the dignity of people who have merit".

Point 2: the wetting of the fall of rain is for the sermon on the Dhamma which Buddha himself spoke. It had a logical relationship with this principle. If anyone concentrates and listens with respect, the teaching of the Buddha will enter and touch their spiritual awareness, and they will be able to exalt their own mind as an act of will, until the spirit achieves a cool state, the same as skin touching fine rain. For people who just listen, the teaching of the Buddha will not make any impression on their spirit, it will go in the left ear and out the right ear, the simile of the rain which did not wet.

Point 3: the teaching of the Buddha is usually a clean thing which does not cause suffering, disadvantage or dislike for any person, at any time.

Point 4: the Buddha's actions at that time he specifically intended to make merit only for the Sakya family group.

As for the Sakya clan, the people whose bodies received cold from the rain were also cool-hearted from Buddha's teaching and paid homage before returning together to the royal compound at sunset. Soft sunlight splashed through the fine rain that remained behind from the afternoon, making the atmosphere the same as at sunrise, flowers in the gardens gradually opened their petals in a tired way as if they had just opened before their season; even the birds flew back to their nests hesitatingly.

All the monks were gathered talking together about the miraculous rain and the radiant evening. Finally, they all honoured the Buddha's great merit which was the cause of all the bewildering things which had happened. The Buddha himself went to the discussion circle of his disciple monks. When he comprehended the substance of their discussion, he declared to them that this rain called 'Bokkhoraphat rain', which fell on that day, was not a marvel. It had occurred before in the past when the Buddha was born as the Bodhisattva named Wetsandon; he who made great merit until it caused the rain Bokkhoraphat to fall in the same way. That was more marvellous. All the monks together begged for his kindness in telling them that story. So the Buddha told them the story in detail, in 1000 stanzas, divided up into 13 sermons.


The "1000 Stanzas"

Preaching "The One Thousand Stanzas" means preaching the story of the Thet Maha Chat (the Wetsandon Jataka), exclusively in the Pali language, 1000 stanzas in total; this we know is the number of stanzas in the Wetsandon Jataka. HRH Kromaluang Chinawonsiriwat has compared the number of stanzas in the texts of the "1000 stanzas" chanted nowadays, with the number of stanzas in the Wetsandon Jataka and the Thipani Wetsandon Jataka. It appears that the number of stanzas does not agree. The Prince explained that actually the number of stanzas is unimportant, but he decided to count them. He reckoned the number to be 852 stanzas plus an additional set, but the number chanted nowadays is exactly 1000 stanzas. The Thipani Wetsandon Jataka, the section Sahatsapatimantite has been revised, is reckoned to be 1004 stanzas. In fact the larger number may be calculated in various ways; it should be translated as "about 1000" stanzas, it does not matter if it is more or less.

The Merit of the 1000 Stanzas

At the time that the divine monk Phra Malai received the lotus flower from destitute man, he went up to worship the Phra Chulamani chedi in heaven. He had the opportunity to converse with Phra Sri Ariyamettrai [Maitreya] [the Future Buddha]. He told the divine monk "I want you to be able to tell all mankind that anyone who wants to meet Lord Ariyamettrai [get to the highest heaven] should cease the five types of serious sin: killing mother, father for example, and should be diligent in building up a heap of merit, for example by generosity in gifts, have regard for the precepts, meditation, prayer and listening carefully to the preaching of the great Wetsandon Jataka, which comprises one thousand stanzas. Also worship him with popped rice, many different flowers and with flowers, incense and candles for each of the thousand. Strengthen one's heart by listening to the whole 13 sermons in one day. Then he will truly be able to meet Phra Sri Ariyamettrai, the future Lord Buddha. If he dies he will go to be born in the ultimate heaven, he will consume a lot of divine things. When the time of the future Lord Buddha comes, the host of male and female divine beings will come down to be born as humans. When they listen to the sermon on the Dhamma, they will be able to achieve the path of enlightenment. In this way he is a worthy person* in the Buddhist religion.


[*There are several sets of characteristics of worthy persons in the Buddhist religion. Two of the sets are given here, The two characteristics are: noble individual, holy person; adept. The four characteristics are: "stream-enterer"; "once-returner"; non-returner"; the Worthy One.]

1.THE SERMON ON THE TEN BLESSINGS
(sermon in 19 stanzas)

Ten different blessings (which Phra Indra bestows upon Queen Phutsadi)

Synopsis

When the Lord Buddha achieved enlightenment, he preached the Dhamma Chakkappawatanasut to all five disciples. Then he went to the city of Ratchakhru, and stayed at Weluwanaram until the end of the winter season. He then went to the city of Kabinlaphat with a great number of followers. Phra Kaluthayi was their guide. He stayed in Nikhrotharam, the great temple, which members of the Sakya royal family had caused to be decorated as an offering, and the royal family attended him there. Because of their pride, the senior relatives were ashamed that they should pay homage to a Supreme Teacher as old as a grandson, so together they stayed in the rear of the crowd, and had their young princes appear to pay homage in front of the Buddha. The Buddha decided to torment the royal relatives to take their pride away from them, so he meditated, and by magic floated up into the air over the heads of the relatives. The King, his father, and all the relatives saw that it was miraculous and raised their hands to pay homage, and at the same time described the power of the Buddha when he was younger, in this way:

the first time was when his nursemaid invited him to go to pay respect to the
hermit Phra Kalathewin, and his feet appeared to float above the head of the
hermit,

the second time was the auspicious day before the ploughing ceremony, when his nursemaid invited him to sleep in the the shade of a black plum tree. The tree's shadow hid him like an umbrella, and the shadow did not try to follow the sun;

the third time was this time.

When the Buddha sat on the Buddha throne, at that time the rain Bokkhoraphat fell all over the meeting area. All of the royal relatives starting with Prince Siri Sutthothana, the Buddha father, were greatly joyful in the merit of the Buddha. When the time was suitable, all were ready to pay homage and return to the royal residence.

When the royal relatives left, the followers discussed the story of the rain Bokkhoraphat


because they had never seen it before. The Supreme Teacher knew this, so he told all the followers that it had not happened only this once. The rain Bokkhoraphat had even occurred in an earlier time. All the followers wished to know about it, so they invited him to tell them. The Buddha told them the story "The Great Wetsandon Jataka" as follows.

In an earlier time the city of Siwirat had a king called Siwirat. He had a son called Prince Sonchai. When he grew up, his father gave him the kingdom and marriage with Princess Phusadi, daughter of King Matharat.

Princess Phutsadi, in a past life, was called Suthamma. When she died she went to be born in the heaven, Dawadung, as the queen of the God Indra. When she was about to leave heaven [to be reborn on earth], she begged for ten types of blessings, as follows

1 She asked to be able to live in a palace of King Siwirat,
2 She asked to have her eyes black like the eyes of a doe,
3 She asked to have eyebrows green like the ruff of a peacock,
4 She asked to have the name Phutsadi,
5 She asked to have a son who would be honoured more than all kings,
and to have him faithful in making merit,
6 She asked not to have a womb which swelled like those of common
pregnant women,
7 She asked not to have both breasts [nipples] darken when she was
pregnant, and not to have sagging breasts when she had given birth,
8 She asked to have hair dark and shiny, like the colour of the wing of a
gold beetle,
9 She asked to have fine skin like pure gold,
10 She asked to have the authority to set free condemned prisoners.

The God Indra conferred the ten blessings which Princess Phutsadi requested.

The [Pali] Word "Kap" [Kappa]

The [Pali] word "Kap" means "the age of the world"; from the start to the end of the world. In this context, it is explained by the analogy with Mount Sineru (Pali) [Mount Sumeru in Sanskrit] which is wide, high and thick; each dimension is equal to 100 yot [1700 Km]. If one were to assign 100 years as the time needed to have the divine beings take away the thickness of a gauze from it, then the time until Mount Sineru (which had a thickness, depth of 100 yot at the start) was smooth as the face of a drum, is called "one Kap"*.


[*Note: one "Kap" [Kappa] may be computed as 170,000,000,000 years, if a gauze is one millimetre thick. Current scientific thinking puts the age of the universe at around 17,000,000,000 years to date, compared with the 6001 years of creationist computation. If the western science calculation is correct, the world and the universe have currently completed one tenth of the span allowed in the cosmology of the Buddha. This is very reassuring.]


The word " Kap" has six word forms, these are

1 Sarakap there is one Buddha born
2 Manthakap there are two Buddhas born
3 Worakap there are three Buddhas born
4 Saramanthakap there are four Buddhas born
5 Phattharakap there are five Buddhas born
6 Sunyakap is an empty period. There are no Buddhas born into the
world at all.

It is said that a long time before Princess Phutsadi received the ten blessings from the God Indra, her life story reached back the very long way of 90 kap . Her life did not start as the queen of Indra; that is, in an earlier life she made and accumulated great merit in the time when the Lord Buddha called Wipatsi was already born into the then world. At the start she prayed "I wish to be able to be the mother of the Buddha" . Like us, she made and accumulated merit, and so created a desire to be able to achieve it.

The Reason Why Divine Beings Die

In the Aphithamdika it is said that there are six reasons why divine beings die [and are reborn on earth], these are

1 Ayukkhaya the end of age
2 Kammakkhaya the end of karma
3 Uphayakkhaya the end of both age and karma
4 Athimuttimorana still not reached the time of death, but pray for it
5 Manopathosika are very angry
6 Ahara praise and enjoy material things too much until they
forget to eat divine food.


Portents That Divine Beings Will Die

1 The flowers which decorate the heavenly mansions wilt
2 Their clothing colour becomes faded
3 Sweat abnormally from armpits
4 The skin is of a type of colour which is not healthy
5 Their soul is irritated and bored by the place where they reside.


Central Points of the Sermon

To succeed in your wish by making merit , you must pray in your soul to achieve your life aim. Wishes which will succeed must be heartfelt. Those people must follow the precepts perfectly, do good deeds, be conscientious, increase their goodness, and the they never regress in their life.

2. THE SERMON ON HIMAPHAN
(Sermon in 134 stanzas)

The forest is covered in snow (the weather in the Himalaya mountains is cold)

Synopsis

Her Highness Princess Phutsadi, queen of the God Indra, came down from heaven to be born as the daughter of King Matharat. When she grew to the age of 16 years, she was married to the King of the city of Sonchai. After a time, she conceived and when exactly a tosamat (ten months) had elapsed, she went to visit the city and gave birth to the King's son at Trok Phokha. So his family gave him the name of Wetsandon. At the moment of his birth, he immediately begged money from his mother to give as alms. On this same day a female Chatthan elephant brought a baby elephant to the Royal elephant house, and then returned alone to the forest . That baby elephant was a pure white albino and the people gave it the name "Patchainakhen".

When Prince Wetsandon grew to the age of 16 years, the King, his father, gave him the throne, and a marriage to the Princess Matsi, the daughter of the Matula royal family. During Prince Wetsandon's reign in the city of Siphi, he built a total of six rest houses as places to distribute alms to all poor people. In time, Princess Matsi gave birth to a son called Chali and a daughter called Kanha.

At that time the city of Kalingkharat suffered a drought, and the rain did not fall as it should in the season, making all the territory dry and arid. Even though the King of Kalingkharat carefully kept the precepts over seven holy days, the rain still did not fall. The people [of the territory] knew [about the elephant] and asked him to go and beg for the gift of the elephant Patchainakhen from Prince Wetsandon. The elephant was a most auspicious animal, because wherever it was driven, it would bring rain to the entire country. King Kalingkharat agreed with the opinion of the people, so he appointed eight Brahmins to go to beg for it. Prince Wetsandon gave it to them. But the townspeople of Siphi did not concur, arguing that Patchainakhen was a symbol of the state and should be retained for the city. The people grew very angry with Wetsandon, so they begged the King of the city of Sonchai to exile him from the city. A royal officer told Prince Wetsandon of the peoples' demand, and the officer advised him to go and reside in Mount Wongkot . He [Prince Wetsandon] begged for another two days to carry out the great gift Sattasadok (the gift of sets of 700 things) before being exiled.

Then he instructed Princess Matsi to make merit regularly, to care for their children, to stay in the city and serve his father and mother; and he gave her permission to marry another member of a ruling family. But Princess Matsi would not agree, she asked to take the children as well as herself and follow him. She described in detail the beauty and happiness [of life] in the Himaphan forest, and is the path that her husband will follow.


Royal Birth - Ability to Speak

The story of the birth of a Bodhisattva, and of immediately being able to speak with his mother, has three occurrences

1 when reincarnated as Prince Mahosot (in the Um Mangkha Jataka )

2 when reincarnated as Prince Wetsandon the great Bodhisattva
(in the Wetsandon Jataka )

3 as the Lord Buddha in the last life.


The 18 Subjects which
Prince Wetsandon Studied

1 Suti General knowledge

2 Sammati Knowledge of regulations and traditions

3 Sangkhaya Subject of arithmetic

4 Yokha Subject of mechanical devices

5 Niti Knowledge of other matters

6 Wisesaka Knowledge of ways of prophecy

7 Khanthappha Dancing and music

8 Khanika Subject of physical exercise

9 Thanupphetha Archery

10 Purana Subject of archaeology

11 Tikitcha Subject of medicine

12 Atihasa Subject of history

13 Choti Treatise on stars

14 Maya Manual of military strategy

15 Chanthati Subject of poetry

16 Ketu Subject of speech

17 Manta Treatise on magic rituals

18 Sattha Subject of grammar (from treatise on Lokkanit)


The Subject "Traithep" [Traiphet] Which Wetsandon Studied

"Traiphet" [Traiphet] or "Traiwet" translates as 3 types of knowledge. It is the name of a sacred book about traditional animist doctrines of the Brahmins, they are

1 Ruthakhawet "chan"* to pray to, and praise various lords

2 Yachurawet prose to recite while worshipping gods

3 Samawet chan to use in chanting in the ginseng-offering ceremony
[from the Narai Sippang of King Rama VI]


Central Points of the Sermon

1 good people are born to bring peace to the world

2 if there is no sacrifice, then the world will probably have an era of destruction

3 doing good usually has obstacles "no evil, no barami* - the more evil, the stronger the barami" The barrier-problem is the source of success

4 the objective of sacrifice is to live in tranquillity, even in suffering.


*Barami (Parami) - the ten perfections; stages of spiritual perfection reached by a Bodhisattva on his way to Buddhahood, or by those who are determined to become Pacchekabuddhas or Arahant disciples of a Buddha.
3. THE SERMON ON THE GIFTS
(sermon in 209 stanzas)

The Sacrifice of the Great Gifts (Sattasadok)

Synopsis

When Queen Phusadi learnt that Prince Wetsandon was to be exiled, she went to visit him and then went to visit the King of the city of Sonchai to beg for his forgiveness; the King did not answer her. So she went to the dwelling of Wetsandon and complained bitterly of the hardships that Wetsandon would suffer.

Next day, Prince Wetsandon made the sacrifice of the great gift named "Sattasadok". Then he led his wife Matsi and his children to say goodbye to the King of the city of Sonchai. The King felt great pity for them and he told Princess Matsi that she did not have to go and so bring hardships upon herself, but Matsi would not yield in any way. King Sonchai did not know what to do, so he begged both his grandsons to stay, but Matsi refused. Then they went to say farewell to Prince Wetsandon's mother at her palace .

Next day, Prince Wetsandon called for his precious possessions to be packed onto a carriage. He went out of the city to scatter the precious objects in front of those passers by. He then sent the soldiers back while he went on alone. There were four Brahmins who ran after him to beg the horses from the Prince. The Prince made them the gift. A deity then turned himself into a golden deer to support the carriage. Still there was another Brahmin who came to beg for the carriage, so the Prince gave it to him. As for the golden deer, it disappeared. Prince Wetsandon picked up Chali in his arms and Matsi picked up Kanha in her arms and they all walked along.


"The great gift" (sattasadok) are the special offerings which he sacrificed in that time. There were 7 types, each of 700 things, they were

1 Elephants to the number 700,

2 Horses to the number 700,

3 Carriages to the number 700,

4 Women to the number 700,

5 Milch cows to the number 700,

6 Male slaves to the number 700,

7 Female slaves to the number 700. (totalling 4,900 things altogether).


Central Points of the Sermon

1 Mother's love - wives' worries, mother's tears - wife's thoughtfulness.

2 The punishment of being a widow, that is, being condemned, being despised, perhaps reaching the end of life by building a fire and jumping into it to commit suicide.

3 For the benefit and happiness of everybody, one person should agree to sacrifice their own comfort and happiness.

4 If one is prosperous, all admire him; if he fails, he is held in contempt. Life has many delights and bitterness and it is impossible to make the people in all the world contented.

4 THE SERMON ON THE WANDERING
(Sermon in 57 stanzas)

Together they wander the forest

Synopsis

Prince Wetsandon and Princess Matsi, together with their children set out to journey to Wongkot Mountain. As they went from the city of Siphi they crossed many territories, namely Sugar Palm Mountain, the river Khotimara, Anchan mountain and Matula city in the territory of Chetarat respectively. The total distance was 30 yot [510Km] away, but the deity helped them by shortening the path and they arrived at Matula city in a single day. They entered a rest-house (pavilion) near the gates of Matula to stay for the night. The next day, news of them reached King Chetarat, so he hurried to see them to look into the matter.

Prince Wetsandon told the King the truth so he would understand his situation, and begged him for assistance so that he could find his way to Wongkot Mountain. King Chetarat said that he would go and approach the King of the city of Sonchai to beg the King for forgiveness to allow him [Wetsandon] to go back to the city. Prince Wetsandon said that his father did not have any freedom in the matter, and he was not able to disobey the request of the people, because the people of Siphi were very resentful about the matter [his gift].

The King asked him to ascend the throne and govern the territory of Matula in his place, but Prince Wetsandon declined, saying that it was against his wishes, and would be a sign that he was starting to become exalted, and to rebel against the King of the city of Sonchai. It would be a reason to have the city of Siphi and the city of Chetarat break off relations, and he asked to be told the way to get to Wongkot Mountain. The King of Chetarat invited him to come and stay in the city first, Prince Wetsandon again declined, but only stayed in the rest-house another night. The next day the King accompanied the four members of royalty to the end of the territory of Chetarat. He showed them the way they should go and appointed a hunter called Chetabut as their guard to protect them from danger, and not to have anyone bother them.

Prince Wetsandon, together with Princess Matsi and their son and daughter reached Khanthamat Mountain, so they rested there. The next day they reached Wibun Mountain and they followed the banks of the Ketumadi. They halted in the shade of trees on the edge of the bank. A hunter brought meat to offer to them, so he [Wetsandon] took off a piece of jewellery and gave it to him. Then they went to stop at a big banyan tree near Suwan Mountain, ate some fruit, and then went to Nalika Mountain.

At that time, Wetsukam, a male deity, received a divine command from Indra to go and magically build two rest houses, and at the same time to create all the objects which hermits have as possessions, he then wrote a scroll giving permission to anybody who wanted to be a hermit, to take the hermitage and the objetcs and use them as their own. Then he made all the wild animals, and all the birds which were not sweet sounding, flee and go to live elsewhere. Then he urged the forest spirits to look after the four royal personages.

When Wetsandon reached the rest house, he entered it by himself and removed all his ornaments and dressed as a hermit, he then went outside to receive Princess Matsi. Princess Matsi then went into another rest house and removed her ornaments, and then dressed as a female hermit together with her son and daughter. Princess Matsi volunteered to go and gather fruit. Prince Wetsandon agreed, but he asked her to promise not to visit him in the night when the two children were absent, and Princess Matsi agreed. The four members of royalty were ordained and lived as hermits on Wongkot Mountain for seven months, with everyone fulfilling their daily duties. By the power of the merit of Prince Wetsandon, he made all the herds of animals who lived within one yot around Wongkot Mountain dwell together in goodwill and compassion

The Period of Performing Good Deeds at Wongkot Mountain

Prince Wetsandon, Princess Matsi, Chali and Kanha journeyed to Wongkot Mountain and were ordained as hermits, covering themselves with tiger skins, and pledged that they would live separately. They carefully and strictly followed the behaviour of hermits, and enjoyed peace and calm for seven months in the royal residence which Phra Indra had caused to be built.

What Precepts Did Wetsandon Hold?

Essentially, all hermits hold to the same five precepts. The special difference for Wetsandon, ordained as a hermit, was not to have sexual relations. He followed these precepts for seven months.

1 refrain from taking life

2 refrain from stealing

3 refrain from lying

4 refrain from drinking intoxicating liquids

5 refrain from sleeping with women

The precepts of Prince Wetsandon differ from the five usual precepts, because people following those five traditional precepts can still sleep with their wives.

Central Points of the Sermon
1 In a time of destitution - a time of poverty, a time of sickness, a time of loss, a time of leaving, it is the time that we should receive the attention of a group of friends.

2 A benefit of having friends is ... they will not abandon a friend in a time of suffering, will help support a friend who is weak and tired, will help pull along a friend at a time of decline, will help support a friend at a time of rising.

3 Goodwill of good people - if you realise that the contentment of most people is usually created by the sacrifice of self, so youshould joyfully and cheerfully choose to reject chance and luck.


5. THE SERMON ON CHUCHOK
(Sermon in 79 stanzas)

The section on old Chuchok (the swindler of the story is a professional beggar)
Synopsis

There was a destitute Brahmin who had no family. His name was Chuchok, and he was born into the family Phowathikachat. He lived in the district of Thunawit village attached to the city of Kalingkharat. He went about begging donations and was able to collect and save 100 "kasap". Then he took them to entrust to a friend who was also a Brahmin, and went off for a very long time begging donations all over the country; so he could not return home.

As for the Brahmin who was looking after the money, he grew poorer, so he took Chuchok's money which he had entrusted to him, and spent it all. When Chuchok remembered, he returned to claim his money. The Brahmin couple did not have any money to repay him so they offered their daughter, Amittada, to be Chuchok's wife, and so Chuchok took her to his home. The girl Amittada cared for Chuchok her husband in a proper manner, until she made many Brahmin men in the district dissatisfied with their own wives, because their behaviour [as wives] was not as good as that of Amittada. All the Brahmin women were cursed because of Amittada, so together they went to curse her, when she had gone down to the water stage to scoop up water, to drive her away. When the Brahmin women encountered Amittada, they crowded around Amittada, cursing, mocking and jeering, making her feel ashamed and heartbroken, so she went home and told Chuchok that from now on she was not going to work; she told him the story, and Chuchok said he would have to do the work himself, but Amittada would not accept that. She said that her family had never used a husband as a slave, and she begged Chuchok to go and find a slave to come and help, otherwise she would not live with him.

At this moment, the deity who had assisted Prince Wetsandon to earlier make the sacrifice of the great gifts (Sattasadok), thought that he would help Wetsandon to make an additional sacrifice (Piyabut) to add to his worthiness (barami), so he inspired Amittada with the knowledge of the story of Wetsandon and of the sacrifice, and he caused the girl to suggest to Chuchok that he go to beg for Chali and Kanha . Chuchok did not want to go, but were he not to go, he feared she would run away, so against his will he agreed to her request. She got together supplies of dried food. Chuchok had the house put in order and gave advice to her; he then walked clockwise around his wife three times. He dressed himself in white as a hermit and went out towards the city of Siwirat. He went about making enquiries from the townspeople about the story of Prince Wetsandon; the townspeople grew angry with him and chased Chuchok into the forest. The deity inspired Chuchok to get lost in the forest, and he reached the territory watched over by Chetabut. Chuchok fled from Chetabut's dogs and climbed into a tree, but then thought about the generosity of Prince Wetsandon which was comparable with the earth, water, a Bodhi tree or a banyan tree; great things which people could rely on. When Chetabut met Chuchok, he resolved that he would shoot and kill him, but instead, he asked his story first and Chuchok lied to Chetabut thus. "I am a royal courier of the King of the city of Sonchai, I am going in order to invite Prince Wetsandon to return to the royal city". Chetabut believed him, so he invited him to eat some food.

The Story of Chuchok

Chuchok was born on a Saturday, in the fifth month, in the year of the Tiger, before the year 1 of the Buddhist era, several thousand years ago, in a Brahmin village called Thunawit in the district of Kalingkharat. His mother was called Chanthi, a female Brahmin, his father was called Tolaka, a Brahmin. His appearance was of the ugly type called "inauspicious in 18 ways". At the time of his birth there were evil omens. These were

1 his mother had evil dreams before giving birth, for example, she was bitten by a snake and died, and so on;

2 he had the 18 inauspicious male characteristics on his body

3 he had the habit of liking to tell lies, earn food by joking, to deceive and to be sarcastic

4 he was born in "namha" or "nam-ngua" [the fifth child].

To be born in "namha" means that his parents had children all of the same sex in a row, they were boys or girls adjacent. The fifth child in a set was called "born nam-ngua" . Chuchok had gathered together 100 kasap by begging. One kasap is equal to 4 baht, so it would total 400 baht. He had entrusted it to his friends. The husband and wife, parents of Amittada, who looked after Chuchok's money, were called "Kunlaphinthu and Nang Manirat".

The 10 Attributes of Prince Wetsandon

1 Tha-me personal suffering

2 Sangya-me self control

3 Khantiya patience

4 Sangwa-re piety

5 Niya-me enjoyed earning merit

6 Ako-te never angry

7 Awiheungsaya never got revenge

8 Sat-ce kept word

9 So-soei-ye resolute in merit making

10 Met-toei-ye acts with kindness (from the Eka Nibat Jataka)


Central Points of the Sermon

1 The belongings which you love and should keep to yourself, which the ancients warn against leaving with other people, are money, horses and wife. Particularly your wife's younger sisters, definitely do not leave them with other people, it is very dangerous.

2 A wife who is virtuous will perform her duties effectively in husking rice, gathering water, firewood gathering, heating water and preparing tea.

3 Things which are incompatible usually have problems. The book 'Hitopathet' says that "Knowledge is harmful if it is not used, food is indigestible because of the fire element, which leads to problems of the nerves, a young wife makes an old husband suffer". Therefore, you should not try to be an old cow who thinks they can chew young grass.


6. THE SERMON ON THE SMALL FOREST
(Sermon in 35 stanzas)

A small forest or a thin forest

Synopsis

After Chetabut allowed Chuchok to stay one night, he looked after and fed him and then gave him a supply of dried food to take, and then led Chuchok to the start of the path. He described at length the way to go to Wongkot Mountain, "the mountain you can see is the beginning of the path you should follow, and it is called Khanthamat Mountain. It is a place which is rich in a great variety of pleasant-smelling trees, next you will get to a place which looks dark green, called Anchan Mountain, which has many species of trees which you will enjoy. Then you will keep on walking for a little while and then you will arrive at a big place called the Mango Forest. Next you will reach a palm and coconut forest with areca-nut trees. Then you will reach the forest with various types of sweet-smelling flowers spread all around". But Chetabut only mentioned the path to the hermitage of the hermit Phra Atchut, and to stop to ask him the rest of the way to get to Wongkot Mountain. Chuchok fixed the way in his mind, said goodbye, walked clockwise around Chetabut three times and continued on his way.

Central Points of the Sermon


1 If you have power but lack reasonable intelligence, you will be easily deceived,

2 Stupid people are the victims of clever people,

3 If you trust other people too much you will be in trouble.

7.THE SERMON OF THE LARGE FOREST (Sermon in 80 stanzas)

A big forest or a wide forest

Synopsis

Chuchok went along the path recommended by Chetabut, and arrived at the hermitage of Phra Atchut, the hermit. He lied to him that he was associated with Prince Wetsandon in an earlier time, and that he had been away for a long time, and he wanted to be able to meet him. Phra Atchut believed him, so he gave Chuchok a place to sleep for the night and next day showed Chuchok the way to go to find Prince Wetsandon. He said "the mountain you see is called Khanthamat Mountain, go on to reach the Mutchalin [Mucalinda*] Pool, which is near the hermitage of Prince Wetsandon, it has lotus flowers and various types of fish. Above it are trees of various types, and various kinds of fruit, there are many types of fruit in the vicinity of the hermitage. Continue that way and you will reach the Himaphan Forest which has various types of animals beyond description. The important animals are four types of lions, which are, 1) "Tinnaratchasi", eats blades of grass as food, 2) "Kalasing", eats animal meat as food, 3) "Pandusuramarukhin" eats animal meat as food. All these three types, look like cows, have various types of fur, have dull colours but bright yellow. 4) "Kraisonsingharat", the tip of its tail, feet and mouth are red, all over is white with a red ruff, it has red down the middle of its back and lives in water. Apart from those, there are still other animals, a great many, of all types. If you follow my instructions you will come to the hermitage of Prince Wetsandon." Chuchok walked clockwise around Phra Atchut the hermit three times, and went on his way.

* Mucalinda is the name of the Naga serpent which sheltered the meditating Buddha.

10 Types of Trees with Sweet Smells

1 Munlakhantha roots smell sweet

2 Sarakhantha stems smell sweet

3 Phekkhukhantha sap smells sweet

4 Tacakhantha bark smells sweet

5 Pappatakakhantha splinters smell sweet

6 Rasakhantha resin smells sweet

7 Pattakhantha leaves smell sweet

8 Pupphakhantha flowers smell sweet

9 Phalakhantha fruit smells sweet

10 Sapphakhantha smells sweet in every way

(from the Maha Nibat Jataka)

The 10 Families of Elephants in the Himaphan Forest


1 Kalawakahatthi Black

2 Khangkhaiyahatthi Colour of water

3 Pandarahatthi White like Mount Kraylat

4 Tamphahatthi Copper coloured

5 Pingkhalahatthi Light gold like cat's eyes

6 Khanthahatthi Colour like the wood eagle: elephants of this
breed have a sweet body odour

7 Mangkhalahatthi Blue-black: elephants of this breed have a very
graceful posture when walking

8 Hemahatthi Yellow like gold

9 Ubosotthahatthi Pure gold

10 Chatthantahatthi Body pure white like silver, mouth and feet red

Elephants of each of these 10 classes have 10 times more energy than the previous ones in the list.

Characteristics of the Tigers and Lions in Himaphan Forest

1 Tinaratchasi eat grass as food

2 Kalasingha have black stripes

3 Pandusura [marukhin] have yellow stripes, eat meat of animals as food

4 Kraisonsingharat the tip of the tail, feet and mouth are the same
red as lacquer, have red stripes around the
middle the same colour as rouge paint, they like
to live in caves. In the afternoon they go out for
food. They like to roar loudly to echo in the forest.

All four types of tigers and lions have bodies as large as cows, all are striped in various ways.



Central Points of the Sermon

1 "Clever but clueless" (has wisdom but lacks thought), so is outdone, can easily make mistakes.

2 To sympathise is to be ruined, easy belief is suffering

3 To mix with anyone, look at their faces (who have countenance, duty, inward looking, spirit), buying cloth looks at the material, buying mats look at the pattern, buying a farm look at the soil, and you will not be able to fall into error.


8. THE SERMON ON THE CHILDREN
(Sermon in 101 stanzas)

Chuchok goes to beg for the children Kanha and Chali

Synopsis

Chuchok arrived at the pool Bokkhorani when it was almost night, and he saw part of the roof [of the hermitage] far away, but he thought that if he went to beg for Kanha and Chali when Princess Matsi was there, he would not succeed. It would be better to wait until tomorrow and have the Princess go out first , because, usually, women are thrifty, and if the husband were to make a gift, they would usually interfere. Having realised this, Chuchok climbed up to sleep on an overhanging rock, to be safe from wild animals .

That night, Princess Matsi dreamt an omen that a strong, stout, clean-cut man with a sword would break down the door and come in and cut off her arms and take out her eyes and cut open her breast and take out her heart. The princess was frightened, so she woke up and hurried to Prince Wetsandon to beg him to help interpret the dream. Prince Wetsandon knew that the meaning of the dream was that tomorrow a beggar would come to ask for Kanha and Chali; he feared that Princess Matsi would not agree to part with the children if he interpreted it truly, so to conceal the meaning of the dream, he interpreted it with a cover of rhetoric in this way: because previously the lady enjoyed happiness, the time had now come for hard suffering; all the four elements [air, earth, fire, water] are abnormal, so she would dream abnormal omens, as she did now. Princess Matsi was still not reassured, so at dawn she woke up Kanha and Chali and bathed them, then she spoke to them at length giving them instructions, and asked Prince Wetsandon to look after them. Then, she went to gather fruit in the forest.

As for Chuchok, when dawn broke he went on the way to Prince Wetsandon's hermitage. When Prince Wetsandon saw him, he asked Kanha and Chali to go out and invite him in. Chuchok threatened both children to frighten them, thinking that when he had succeeded in begging for them both, they would be more easily used. First Chuchok would beg for Chali and Kanha from Prince Wetsandon, by speaking indirectly in a cajoling way, taking all five rivers [of India],(Khongkha, Yommana, Achirawadi, Soraphu and Mahi) and comparing them with the generosity as well as the kindness of Prince Wetsandon, and then he would make his request. Prince Wetsandon asked him to wait for Princess Matsi first. Chuchok said he could not, because the nature of women is sympathetic, and in no way would she give them. Then Prince Wetsandon begged Chuchok to go to the palace of the King of Sonchai, to receive the King's gift of a valuable treasure; but Chuchok said he could not, because the King of Sonchai would accuse him of a trick to lure away the King's grandchildren and he would be punished, so he begged to take both children to go to the city of Kalingkharat that very day.

When Kanha and Chali learnt of this they were afraid, so they fled together to hide in the lotus pool and stepped in backwards, and took lotus leaves to hide their bodies so they could not be seen. When Chuchok looked for them, he could not see them so he made a show of complaining to Prince Wetsandon that he had winked at their running away, and that he did not keep his word. So Prince Wetsandon followed the foot prints to the pool, and he knew that both children were in the pool. So he called them to come up, explaining that they were royal children and they could not have anyone criticise them. Then he compared them to boats which would bring him to Nirvana, so he begged them to come up as dear children to help make the gift. Chali rose up. So he called to Kanha and Kanha rose up. Both children embraced their father's feet, then all three royal personages wept. Wetsandon worked out the value of both children and then gave them to Chuchok to take away.

At that very moment there was a miraculous earthquake, and all the herds of animals were frightened, Mount Sumeru bent over, the water in the great oceans boiled up, the Naga King came up to float on the surface of the water, the Garuda played with the winds, and the air became strange and rain fell, deities of all types came together to express their gratitude.

When Chuchok received the gift of the children, he beat them in front of Prince Wetsandon. Prince Wetsandon was calm, so Chali turned and told his troubles to Kanha, and when Chuchok beat them a great deal, both children joined to tell at length various stories about fathers, mothers and children. Prince Wetsandon, when he heard the stories and saw these violent events, was suddenly angry and would kill Chuchok, because Chuchok hit both children in front of himself and showed no respect for him. He compared Chuchok with a fishhook and he with a fish, both children were like water. Nirvana was compared with a fish-trap. In that Chuchok did the same as a fish-hunter when he beats a fish in front of a trap; he splashed the water and excited the fish, so that he [as the fish] would not enter the fish-trap, that is, Nirvana. But in the end, he allowed his anger to die. So Chuchok led away the two children beating them continuously. When dusk came, the Brahmin led the children out of the forest.

18 Inauspicious Characteristics of a Man
(18 types of evil things which reside in the body of Chuchok)

1 Phlangkabat both feet big and crooked

2 Anthathanakha all his nails are maimed

3 Ophatthapindika thin legs and calves [of leg] drooping down

4 Thitotarodatha upper lip of mouth long and covers lower lip

5 Chapala sticky saliva flows continuously out onto both cheeks
like sap

6 Kalara fangs sprout out of mouth like tusks of a pig

7 Phukkhanasaka nose flattened and broken and looks ugly

8 Kumphothara stomach bulges like the bulbous base of a big pot

9 Phakkhapitthi ridge of shoulder bent and back hunched

10 Wisamacakkhu eyes deep sunk with the bad characteristics: one side
small, one side big, not equal.

11 Sohamatsu beard looks like copper wire

12 Haritakesa hair sparse and straw coloured

13 Walina body has lines of twisted and swollen veins

14 Tinlakahata has blotches all over his body

15 Pingkhala eyes all rolled up and crossed like a cat's eyes

16 Winta body twisted in three places- neck, back and waist

17 Wikada feet splayed and ugly

18 Phrahakhara body hair long and rough like pig bristle brush

Four Causes and Characteristics of Dreaming
Dreaming arises from four causes, these are
1 Thatukhopha arise from problems with balance of bodily elements

2 Anuphubuppha arises from the emotions from earlier in life

3 Thewatopasanghon arises from deities coming to tell of future events

4 Bupphanimit arises from omens which tell of good events before they
come
These are easy to memorise in the order: "Bupphanimit, Chitaniwon, Thepsanghon, Thatkamroep".

Valuation - Setting the Value on a Person

Before Prince Wetsandon gave Chali and Kanha to Chuchok, he estimated a value such that ordinary people could not afford to set both children free [independent], apart from their grandfather and grandmother. Therefore he negotiated the price of both children to have it settled at that time that " if both children wish to be freed ; Chali as the elder brother has a value of 1000 gold tamlungs [equal to 4,000 baht], as for Kanha, as the younger sister, her price is probably limited to 100 gold tamlungs; 100 each of female slaves, male slaves, elephants, horses, Khawi cows and Usupharach cows".

Central Points of the Sermon

1 Being a person who understood the right time and the right place, Chuchok did not hurry to go and beg, but waited for Princess Matsi to go out to the forest, to have an audience to ask for both children, and this was the reason for his getting success in the thing he desired; as the ancient proverb says "slow but sure; if you hurry, you will get the opposite result". Recognise the right occasion, learn how to have manners, speak out; to have bravery and coolness of head is success.

2 All parents love their children equally, but do not worry about them equally. They worry about girls more than they worry about boys, because you compare them so "girls are like rice, boys are like unhusked rice". The more girls grow up as teenagers, the more trouble they bring.

3 Sati Tesang Niwaranang : Sati (mindfulness) is a device to guard against every type of danger. Khanti Sahasawarana: Khanti can protect you from impetuosity. It is the reason that Prince Wetsandon did not kill Chuchok with a sword when Chuchok insulted him and struck Chali and Kanha, particularly in his sight.

4 It is a characteristic of women, that even if it is true they live with kindness and compassion, and would like to liberate other people from suffering, the single exception is that women will never sacrifice their children.



9. THE SERMON ON PRINCESS MATSI
(Sermon in 90 stanzas)

Princess Matsi goes into the forest to gather fruit, returns and cannot find Chali and Kanha. She goes to question her husband about it, is accused, and faints

Synopsis

When Chuchok led the children away, Phra Indra feared that if Princess Matsi returned during the day, she would pursue the two children, and would probably catch up with them. So he caused three deities to disguise themselves as a tiger, a yellow tiger [leopard], and a lion who came to block the path. When Princess Matsi went to get fruit that day, she became uneasy, and was able to pick only a few small pieces before she hurried back; but she encountered the three animals asleep blocking her way, so she could not pass by. Until dusk fell the princess begged all three animals to allow her to go by. Then the deities opened the path for her, and she returned.

She could not see the two children, so she pleadingly asked Prince Wetsandon . No matter how many times she asked, he did not speak, because he saw that she was tired, and would be greatly grieved about the children, and could be a danger to her own life. So to reduce Princess Matsi's grief he pretended that he was jealous, that she was going to find pleasure with a lover in the middle of the forest, only to return at night. Princess Matsi repeatedly asked for forgiveness. Prince Wetsandon was quiet and would not discuss it. So she went out to look for the children all through the night, until the next day when she returned to the hermitage. She was so disheartened from weariness that she fainted. Prince Wetsandon was deeply shocked that Princess Matsi had died, so he spoke fully of his grief. When his grief subsided, he examined her, and saw that she had only fainted, so he lifted her head onto his lap and sprinkled water on her breast; she recovered and returned to consciousness, and again asked for Chali and Kanha. He told her the truth and begged her to help him rejoice in the gift as well. The princess thus rejoiced in the gift of the dear children and he told her of the miracles which occurred at the time of the gift (as previously mentioned in the Sermon On The Children).

Central Points of the Sermon

Children are the eyes and hearts of their parents. "Good children gladden the hearts of fathers and mothers. Children in trouble bruise the hearts of fathers and mothers." Whose love equals that of parents? Whose worry equals that of parents? Whose possessiveness equals that of parents? Whose giving equals that of parents? Therefore, we should be good children, grateful children, whom humans in the world admire, and whom the deities in heaven admire and praise.

10. THE SERMON ON PHRA INDRA
(Sermon in 43 stanzas)

Phra Indra changes into an old Brahmin to come and ask for Matsi

Synopsis

The next day the Divine King [Phra Indra] realised that since the two children of Prince Wetsandon had been given to Chuchok, were someone to come afterwards to ask for Princess Matsi, he would probably give her away as well, and then Prince Wetsandon would have difficulty in getting food to eat; so he disguised himself as a Brahmin and came to beg for Princess Matsi. Prince Wetsandon gave permission, and poured water as a sign of an absolute gift to the Brahmin. At that moment there was a miraculous earthquake everywhere, the same as the previous time. As for Princess Matsi, she could not at all refuse, because she believed in the wisdom of her husband. Prince Wetsandon noticed the appearance of the princess. The princess knew this, so she said, to satisfy him, that she was his possession, whom he could give or sell to anybody, or could punish any way he chose, that he had a right to do anything. Therefore he could offer her to the Brahmin and she was happy not to oppose the prince's virtue.

Phra Indra knew the hearts of both royal people, so He blessed them and offered the princess back, and then he floated in the air to announce that he was the Divine King, but before he went he gave permission to Prince Wetsandon to beg eight types of blessings. The blessings which Prince Wetsandon sought are the following

1 to have the King of Sonchai be pleased with his actions, and invite him
to return to the city,

2 to have him have compassion to ease the lot and save the lives of
people who have execution as their punishment,

3 to have him be the patron of all people in all three ages,
these are youth, middle age and old age,

4 to have him remain contented with his own wife and not to be
pleased with the wives of others,

5 to have children to pass on the high rank of the royal family, to have
long life, power and to live in the Dhamma,

6 when he returns to the city, the next day to have divine food sufficient
for all as a gift,

7 when he makes any gift, to not have the royal treasury diminish, to
always believe wholeheartedly in giving, and not to create suffering
when the treasury is empty,

8 when he comes to the end of life, have him go to heaven and have him
dwell at higher and higher levels until he reaches the peak
and does not fall [from grace].

The Divine King conferred these blessings and disappeared to return to his place in heaven.

Central Points of the Sermon

Doing good even if people do not see, with noone to compliment your, is a goodness which always remains. Like gold, even if it is in a display case or in a safe, it will cover the front of a monk or the back of a monk, it is still gold.


Doing good even if there is noone to see, but the deities above you usually know.


11. THE SERMON ON THE GREAT KING
(Sermon in 69 stanzas)

The great King: Chuchok leads Chali and Kanha away, they get lost and go into the city of Siphi where they are ransomed as free people

Synopsis

Chuchok the Brahmin led the two children into the forest. It was a a distance of 60 yot. On the way, the deities always kept them from danger. When night came, Chuckok bound the limbs (arms) of the two children to a clump of trees, and then climbed up to sleep in the branches of a tree. The deities took pity, so all through the next 10 nights disguised as Prince Wetsandon and Princess Matsi, they removed the vines and carried the children to bathe them, to tie their hair, to beautify them and to give them divine food to eat, and to lull them to sleep until the next day. When Chuhok came to a fork in the path, which led to Kalingkharat, the deities inspired him to take the path to the city of Siphi.

That night, the King of the city of Sonchai dreamt an omen that there was a man of frightening appearance, who would come to present to him with a pair of lotus flowers, one flower just blooming, one flower just in bud. The [royal] astrologer interpreted the dream that relatives who went away, will return to the city. Next day, he went outside into the open space. The deities inspired Chuchok to lead the children in front of the King. A group of royal attendants did not draw attention to them by forbidding them to pass. The King of the city of Sonchai looked down and saw his grandchildren, so he ordered the attendants to bring Chuchok and the two children to see him and ask them their stories, about leading the children here. Chuchok told him the truth. The group of royal attendants led the criticism of Prince Wetsandon. Prince Chali was not pleased, so he argued to his grandfather that he should not allow the group of attendants to criticise and appear insolent to his father in front of the King. Then he spoke of the various troubles he had suffered (see the Sermon on the Children).

The King of the city of Sonchai saw the royal children, Chali and Kanha sitting below [the king] with Chuchok, in the manner of a master and his slaves, and not in a way suitable for the dignity of royal children, so he remonstrated with them. Prince Chali said that he was the slave of the Brahmin, and he would not dare sit with His Highness the King. So the King of the city of Sonchai asked Chuchok the ransom price of the two royal children. He asked Chuchok, but Prince Chali said for himself that according to the estimation of Prince Wetsandon the value for Chali was 1,000 gold tamlung, and for Kanha equal to 100 each of spiritual treasures and 100 gold tamlung [as mentioned before]. The King of the city of Sonchai withdrew this from the royal treasury together with the spiritual treasures, and gave them to the Brahmin Chuchok, and arranged a celebration for both grandchildren. After that he appointed Prince Chali to go to invite Prince Wetsandon to return, but Prince Chali said that he feared his father would not believe him, and that he [the King] should take out a troop of soldiers himself. The King of the city of Sonchai therefore raised a troop of soldiers to go out to welcome back Prince Wetsandon, as Prince Chali had proposed.

During all this, the Brahmin Chuchok ate such an excess of food that he could not digest it, and so he died. The King of the city of Sonchai made an announcement to have his family and relatives come and collect the Brahmin's money; but no relatives came to claim it, so he ordered the money to be put back into the royal treasury.

On the seventh day, they mounted elephants to go and welcome Prince Wetsandon. At that time eight Brahmins who were citizens of the city of Kalingkharat brought the elephant Patchainakhen and offered to give it back, so he ordered Prince Chali to ride the elephant Patchainakhen at the head of the army. They went out of the city, and after several nights, they arrived at Mount Wongkot.

KONLABOTBUASONKLIP

This is an essay on the time that they prepared the procession of the army to go out to bring back Prince Wetsandon. It is considered to be a well detailed and very well arranged piece of literature, it is called " Konlabotbuasonklip", which His Highness the royal monk Prince Paramanuchitchinorot, the outstanding poet of the world, composed for the Sermon on the Great King. It is popular as a most beautiful composition. For example in describing the force of elephants, it says

(a section in Thai on the preparation of elephants and their drivers for war).


Central Points of the Sermon

Good people are always safe and survive, they are likely to receive protection from danger everywhere they go. Born as males or females, they must keep their skills, born as people they should build goodness for themselves, born at any time they should create good for themselves, then the world will not forget them.


12. THE SERMON ON THE SIX KSATRIYA
(Sermon in 36 stanzas)

The six Ksatriya: the King of Sonchai, Queen Phutsadi, Prince Wetsandon, Princess Matsi, Prince Chali and Princess Kanha, meet at Mount Khiriwongkot, become unconscious, the magic rain Bokkhoraphat is made to fall on the six royal people
and they regain consciousness.

Synopsis

When Prince Chali, leading the army, arrived at the pool Mutchalin, he ordered them to halt, to build a pavilion to formally receive his Highness the King of Sonchai. The sound of the horses and carriages echoed and made strange vibrations in the area of Mount Wongkot. Prince Wetsandon was shocked, assuming that the enemy had already attacked and destroyed the city of Siphi and assassinated the King, his father, and they were coming to destroy him as well. So he led Princess Matsi to hide and observe the army. When Princess Matsi looked, she was certain that the army were the soldiers of the King of Sonchai come to welcome Prince Wetsandon, as in the blessings which the God Indra had conferred on him; so she reassured her royal husband. Her husband recollected [the blessing] and decided to return and stay at the hermitage as before.

His Majesty the King of Sonchai conferred with his queen. He would go to the hermitage first, after that the queen and the two children would slowly follow in turn, because he was concerned that if they went together it would greatly upset Prince Wetsandon and Matsi. When the King arrived, the two Ksatriya [Prince Wetsandon and Princess Matsi] greeted him, then he enquired about their living conditions. Prince Wetsandon told him of all his experiences, and then asked about the wellbeing of his mother, and news of his children, as well as news of the city of Siphi. His father told him about them. After that, his mother the Queen arrived, and the two Ksatriya greeted her, then the two children arrived at the hermitage. Princess Matsi looked at them and cried repeatedly. The two children ran and hugged their mother and cried. Speaking at length, all three Ksatriya fell unconscious together. When Prince Wetsandon and his parents saw this, they all wept and fainted as well. The group of royal concubines and servants in the King's retinue all fainted away as well. At that moment, there was an earthquake all over the surface of the world.

Divine Indra knew the reason for the suffering of the six royal people, so he caused a wave of magic rain called "Bokkhoraphat" to fall in the area. The six royal people and the group of royal courtiers all regained consciousness, and they all felt a sense of awe and fear at the holiness of Prince Wetsandon. They all prostrated themselves and knelt to beg the gift of royal pardon for what had happened and to beg him to return to the city.

13. THE SERMON ON THE CITY
(Sermon in 48 stanzas)

Returning together to the city

Synopsis

When Prince Wetsandon heard the people of the city of Siphi invite him as we saw, he feared, as he received the invitation, that the people would find that he was easily influenced, so he asked his father whether it would be proper; before [being banished] he had ruled the city following the ten virtues of the king, and they had decided to banish him from the city. The King of the city of Sonchai comforted him and asked his forgiveness and pleaded twice, so he accepted the invitation. The total time he had performed the duty of staying at Mount Wongkot was nine months and fifteen days. It was then time to leave the priesthood, so he performed the coronation ceremony of libation with all three conch shells, these are Thaksinawat, Suwan and Hiran. He then returned to ascend the throne to rule the royal domains as before, and he requested the four groups of attendants to perform an entertainment over 3 full days.

Queen Phusadii dressed Princess Matsi in four special types of cloth, with great crowns and ornaments, for her entry into the city. The four types of cloth are:

1 Kappasikkaphat cloth made with thread
2 Saiyaphat cloth made with silk
3 Khommaphat cloth made with wood fibre
4 Kothumphoraphat cloth made from fur.

At that time, the herds of animals who lived in the area were very distressed that Prince Wetsandon was leaving. He used to spread the sublime states of mind everywhere. This group of animals lived in his perfections [barami] which protected them from dangers at all time.

The King of the city of Sonchai caused to have decorated the road which Prince Wetsandon would use to return [to the city]. To make it beautiful, he decorated the royal path with royal tiered umbrellas, flags, bananas and sugar cane, he scattered all five types of offerings, these are flowers of Burmuda grass, raw rice, seeds of cabbage, jasmine and puffed rice, at intervals along the way, from Mount Wongkot to the city of Siphi. Prince Wetsandon rode the elephant Patcainakhen, surrounded by all the soldiers and relatives. He spent many nights on the way, a distance of 60 yot, to arrive at the city of Siphi. When he arrived at the city of Siphi, he was crowned and ascended the throne to rule the royal domains as before. Altogether, Prince Wetsandon was away from the city for one year and fifteen days.

At the time that Prince Wetsandon returned to rule the city, there was a heavy rain called Sattarat, comprising Suwan, Hiran, Mukda, Mani, Praphan, Phaithun and Wichian, which fell magically all around the city. This was a gift for all the people. Prince Wetsandon lived to rule the royal domains until he was aged 120 years, and then he died.


Thotsaphitratchatham

"Thotsphitratchatham" is translated as "The Ten Kingly Virtues". These are:

1 Dana Charity

2 Sila High moral character

3 Paritchakha Self-sacrifice

4 Atchawa Honesty and integrity

5 Mathawa Gentle disposition

6 Tapa Self control

7 Akkotha Not angry

8 Awihungsa Non violence

9 Khanti Patience

10 Awirothana Conformity to the law

(from the Maha Nibat Jataka)

Furthermore, the great Bodhisattva Wetsandon reigned by the Thotsaphitratchatham until he was 120 years old, then his life ended and he went to live a divine life in heaven.

Central Points of the Sermon

Goodness which is acted upon, yields a good result,

Goodness which is performed, does not disappear,

The 30 types of heroic virtue which he performed to completion,

Goodness which is performed with a merit-intention, people must understand it.





This page was authorised by the Faculty of Asian Studies Executive Officer.
It was last changed on 10 Jan 2002.
Copyright 2003 Australian National University [CRICOS #00120C].