Stories of the Buddha’s Former Births

Book 1 Ekanipāta

60. Samkhadhamana Jātaka

“Go not too far.”—This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about another self-willed person.


Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to life as a conch-blower, and went up to Benares with his father to a public festival. There he earned a great deal of money by his conch-blowing, and started for home again. On his way through a forest which was infested by robbers, he warned his father not to keep on blowing his conch; but the old man thought he knew better how to keep the robbers off, and blew away hard without a moment’s pause. Accordingly, just as in the preceding story, the robbers returned and plundered the pair. And, as above, the Bodhisatta repeated this stanza:

Go not too far, but learn excess to shun;
For over-blowing lost what blowing won.


His lesson ended, the Master shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, “This self-willed Brother was the father of those days, and I myself his son.”