I so love this story. It's cute, fun and very charming/entertaining all in one! Today is the last day of March and I proudly present " The Foot-Print Reader" to you all.
Padakusalamanava Jataka: The Foot-Print Reader
[ Translated from the Pali by Dr.C.B.Varma ]
Once the queen of a Benares king, owing to her false oath was born as a yakkhini. She had a well-demarcated territory to exercise her powers. She could kill and eat people within her territory. One day, she caught hold a rich and handsome Brahmin and fell in love with him. She brought him home and made him her husband. But whenever she went outside she chained him in her abode lest he would run away. In course of time, the Bodhisatta was born out of her womb. When growing the yakkhini empowered him with a charm to read or trace the foot-step of any person even after the lapse of twelve years.
When the son grew old enough to note the captivity of his father he felt sorry for him. Having discovered the extent of the power of his yakkhini mother, which was effective only within a certain range, he, one day, meticulously engineered a plot and escaped out of the forest with his father and began a new life in a new city.
As the boy had the ability to trace the foot-steps of any person even after the lapse of twelve years he easily entered the service of the king of Varanasi. [Please click: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVGt1vw5 ... re=related]
One day, the king and his chaplain stole some public treasury and hid it in a tank. Next morning, they asked the boy to find the same(public treasury). The boy easily took the people to the tank by tracing the foot-steps in the air. The people were amazed. When insisted to reveal the names of the thieves he first declined as he knew that the thieves were none other than the king and his chaplain. None the less, when pressed long by the people, he divulged the names of the two. This infuriated the mob, which in frenzy killed the king and the chaplain. The Bodhisatta was then crowned as the king.
The story was related in reference to a seven year old boy of Savatthi who could recognize footsteps. His father put him through a severe test, and then went to the Buddha, where the boy found him. When the Buddha heard the story he revealed that of the past. The father of the story of the past is identified with Maha Kassapa. J.iii.501 14.
Love Buddha's dhamma,