Ja 11 The Story about the Deer named Lakkhaṇa

In the present Devadatta goes off with 500 disciples, and the Buddha sent Vens. Sāriputta and Moggallāna to bring them back to the fold. He then tells a story where in the past Devadatta, then known as Kāḷa, through carelessness, had lost the herd he was in charge of, while Sāriputta had preserved all alive (full story).

1. Hoti sīlavataṁ attho, paṭisanthāravuttinaṁ,
Lakkhaṇaṁ passa āyantaṁ, ñātisaṅghapurakkhataṁ,
Atha passasimaṁ Kāḷaṁ, suvihīnaṁ va ñātibhī ti.

The virtuous one will prosper, he whose way of life is friendly, look at Lakkhaṇa approaching, surrounded by his relatives, then look at this Kāḷa, who has completely lost his relatives.

In this connection, the virtuous one, endowed with conduct that is virtuous, with the happiness of virtue.

Prospers means develops.

He whose way of life is friendly, friendly in Dhamma and friendly in worldly things, living with these he is one whose way of life is friendly, these are those whose way of life is friendly.

Here because of instructing and advising on the avoidance of wrong doing he is friendly in Dhamma, and because of righteous protection by looking after the sick and those things gained on almsround, he is friendly in worldly things, so it is to be understood.

This is what is said: For those established in two friendlinesses, for the wise endowed with good conduct, this is called development. Now to show this development, like one speaking to a mother and child, he says: Look at Lakkhaṇa, and so on.

In this connection, this is the meaning in brief: His own son, endowed with friendly conduct, without ruining even one deer, see him coming at the front, surrounded by his relatives.

But you, having given up the attainment of friendly conduct, have dull wisdom. Then look at this Kāḷa: who, without even one exception, has completely lost his relatives, and comes alone.