Once the Bodhisatta was born as Senaka, a brahmin, counsellor to King Maddava of Benares. Maddava, seeing that his chaplain's son was yearning for his chief queen, gave her to him for a week. But at the end of the week the queen ran away with the youth and the king became ill with longing for her. Senaka thereupon arranged for a festival, in the course of which the king was shown a man swallowing a sword. The king then asked his counsellors, Ayura, Pukkusa and Senaka, if anything could be harder to do than that. They, in turn, replied that to promise a gift, to make it, and having made it, not to regret it, these acts were, in increasing degrees, far harder than swallowing a sword made in Dasanna. The king, grasping the purport of their answers, regained his self-composure.

The story was told in reference to a monk who was tempted by his former wife.

The king was identified with the monk, Ayura with Moggallāna, and Pukkusa with Sāriputta (J.iii.336-41).

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