Mahosad and Solomon's Judgement

Mahosad and Solomon's Judgement

Posted in the Buddhism Forum

Hello

Brooklyn, NY

#1 Mar 25, 2012
An interesting parallel in which a story is found both the Bible and the Mahosath Jataka.

The Biblical account seems silly. Two women claim that a baby belongs to them and not the other, so King Solomon says to divide the baby in half so each can have the baby. One woman says no, not to kill the baby and to give the baby to the other, while the bad woman agrees with the king and wants the child to be divided.

In the Mahosath, the judgement is not by a king but a wise little boy-- it's a kind of a playful tale. Such a playful judgement would fit the story of a wise child who wanted to have some fun in the process... So a demoness steals a baby and the mother and demoness are told that whoever can pull the baby across the line would be the real mother.

So the two mothers pull and as soon as the baby cries the real mother lets go. Of course real mother could not stand suffering baby.

Any thoughts? I personally think the Mahosath Jataka fits since it's a very childish judgement and not something worthy of a king.

Who borrowed from whom?

“Sabbe satta sukhi hontu”

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#2 Mar 25, 2012
There is one thing about the story of King Solomon. Who in the world would wants a dead baby? The Jataka story makes a lot more sense, as the mother let go at the instant the baby started to cry in pain. Chances are, the story was transmitted to the Middle East.

You are not the first to see the parallel. You should read this article: http://curiouscurriculum.wordpress.com/tag/ma...
Hello

Brooklyn, NY

#3 Mar 26, 2012
Dhammachari wrote:
There is one thing about the story of King Solomon. Who in the world would wants a dead baby? The Jataka story makes a lot more sense, as the mother let go at the instant the baby started to cry in pain. Chances are, the story was transmitted to the Middle East.
You are not the first to see the parallel. You should read this article: http://curiouscurriculum.wordpress.com/tag/ma...
Thanks for the article-- I certainly agree with you and the author of the article--no one would want half a dead baby. On top of it the other woman actually wants the king to kill the child AFTER the real mother refuses to have the child killed. Makes absolutely no sense. It's an amusing story of wisdom, childish fun mixed with humor.

Here is a link to the Jataka, with corresponding cartoons--the Jataka even mentions the "little wise guy" ;) is only seven years old when making these judgements... When I first read the story it made me laugh as did the cartoon showing the tug of war with the child. It kind of reminded me of Encyclopedia Brown 2500 years ago.

http://threeroyalwarriors.tripod.com/id37.htm...

“Sabbe satta sukhi hontu”

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#4 Mar 26, 2012
Thank you for that! And reminding me of Encyclopedia Brown! I haven't read any of those books since I was a child, myself.

Of course, this is all speculation. Maybe neither story influenced the other. Either way, the Jataka tale certainly makes much more sense, and the baby tug-of-war is definitely more amusing than a story of infanticide.
no way

Marburg, Germany

#5 Jul 16, 2013
The Jakarta Corpus is much younger than the story about Salomon. Its not reasonable at all to postulate a literary parallel.

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