Ja 174 The Story about the Treacherous Monkey

In the present Devadatta’s lack of gratitude is notorious amongst the monks. The Buddha tells a story about a previous life in which he helped a thirsty monkey, only for the monkey to make his droppings fall on the head of his benefactor.

1. Adamha te vāri pahūtarūpaṁ,
Ghammābhitattassa pipāsitassa.
So dāni pitvāna kiriṅkarosi,
Asaṅgamo pāpajanena seyyo ti.

I have given you plenty of water, when you were scorched by heat, and were thirsty. Now, having drunk, you are chattering away, it’s best to be detached from bad people.

In this connection, now, having drunk, you are chattering away, now you, having drunk the water that was given by me, making a monkey-face, made the sound: “Kiri, kiri.”

It’s best to be detached from bad people, it is best not to be attached to bad people, it is best to be detached.

2. Ko te suto vā diṭṭho vā sīlavā nāma makkaṭo?
Idāni kho taṁ ohacchaṁ, esā asmāka’ dhammatā ti.

Whoever heard or saw what is known as a virtuous monkey? Now I have defecated on you, this is our normal custom.

In this connection, this is the meaning in brief: Dear brahmin, “There surely is a monkey, who knows what is meritorious, is endowed with manners, and is virtuous,” when was this heard or seen by you? Now, after defecating faeces on your head, I will depart, this is what is known as our monkey customs, this is our nature by birth, namely, that we should drop faeces on the head of our helper.