Mahajanaka
Perfection of Perseverance

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The Bodhisattha is born as Prince Mahajanaka, son of the King of Mithila who was killed by his brother. The pregnant Queen escaped and was adopted by a Brahmin of Kalacampa as his sister.

When the Prince Mahajanaka is sixteen he learns his identity and taking half of his mothers jewels he boards a ship for Suvannabhumi to make his fortune. The ship is wrecked.Although there is no chance of survival, Mahajanaka persists in swimming for seven days and is rescued by a deva who carries him to a mango grove in Mithila.

Polajanaka, the murderous brother has died and the throne will go to a man who can please his daughter, Sivali, and also pass certain tests. No one comes forward and the ministers go forth in the state chariot to seek a king. The horses stop before the sleeping Prince; the ministers see the auspicious markings on the Prince’s feet, and crown him King. Mahajanaka passes the tests easily and marries the Princess Sivali.

Much later after a long reign when his son is made viceroy, King Mahajanaka notices that mango trees, which are full of fruit, are consistently plundered and the barren ones are left alone; through observing this he becomes aware that possessions bring sorrow. For four months he leads the life of an ascetic in the palace and then decides to renounce the world and become a hermit. Sivali follows him and attempts to dissuade him from his purpose. After a series of apt encounters illustrating the peace of the solitary life, the King vanishes into the forest alone and the Queen Sivali returns to live as an ascetic in the palace gardens of Mithila.