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Jataka 52

Cūḷa-janaka Jātaka

King Janaka’s Story

as told by Eric Van Horn

originally translated by Robert Chalmers, B.A., of Oriel College, Oxford University

originally edited by Professor Edward Byles Cowell, Cambridge University


This is not so much a story so much as a tiny framework for the verse.


Persevere, my brother.” This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana. It is about another backsliding monk. All the incidents that are to be related here, will be given in the Mahā-janaka-Jātaka (Jātaka 539).

The King, seated beneath the white canopy of sovereignty, recited this stanza:

Persevere, my brother; stand fast in hope.

Do not lose your strength, or tire, though hard-pressed.

I see myself, who, with all my struggles in the past,

Have fought my stubborn way ashore.

Here, too, the backsliding monk won Arahatship. The All-wise Buddha was King Janaka.

King Janaka, Ahead of His Time

Figure: King Janaka, Ahead of His Time