The One-hundredth Prince – Jataka Tales

Buddha’s Tales for Young and Old
[Obedience to a Wise Teacher]
Once upon a time, there was a king who
had one hundred sons. The youngest, the one-
hundredth, was Prince Gamani. He was very ener-
getic, patient and kind.
All the princes were sent to be taught by
teachers. Prince Gamani, even though he was the
one-hundredth in line to the throne, was lucky
enough to have the best teacher. He had the most
learning and was the wisest of them of all. He was
like a father to Prince Gamani, who liked, re-
spected and obeyed him.
In those days, it was the custom to send
each educated prince to a different province.
There he was to develop the country and help the
people. When Prince Gamani was old enough for
this assignment, he went to his teacher and asked
which province he should request. He said, “Do
not select any province. Instead, tell your father
the king that if he sends you, his one-hundredth
son, out to a province, there will be no son re-
maining to serve him in his home city.” Prince
Gamani obeyed his teacher, and pleased his father
with his kindness and loyalty.
Then the prince went again to his teacher
and asked, “How best can I serve my father and
the people, here in the capital city?” The wise
teacher replied, “Ask the king to let you be the
one to collect fees and taxes, and distribute
benefits to the people. If he agrees, then carry out
your duties honestly and fairly, with energy and
Again the prince followed his teacher’s ad-
vice. Trusting his one-hundredth son, the king was
glad to assign these functions to him. When he
went out to perform the difficult task of collecting
fees and taxes, the young prince was always gen-
tle, fair and lawful. When he distributed food to
the hungry, and other necessary things to the
needy, he was always generous, kind and sympa-
thetic. Before long, the one-hundredth prince
gained the respect and affection of all.
Eventually, the king came to be on his
deathbed. His ministers asked him who should be
the next king. He said that all his one hundred
sons had a right to succeed him. It should be left
up to the citizens.
After he died, all the citizens agreed to
make the one-hundredth prince their next ruler.
Because of his goodness, they crowned him King
Gamani the Righteous.
When the ninety-nine older brothers heard
what had happened, they thought they had been
insulted. Filled with envy and rage, they prepared
for war. They sent a message to King Gamani,
which said, “We are all your elders. Neighbour
countries will laugh at us if we are ruled by the
one-hundredth prince. Either you give up the
kingdom or we will take it by war!”
After he received this message, King Ga-
mani took it with him to his wise old teacher, and
asked his advice.
It just so happened that this honourable
gentle teacher was the reborn Enlightenment Be-
ing. He said, “Tell them you refuse to wage war
against your brothers. Tell them you will not help
them kill innocent people you have come to know
and love. Tell them that, instead, you are dividing
the king’s wealth among all one hundred princes.
Then send each one his portion.” Again the king
obeyed his teacher.
Meanwhile the ninety-nine older princes
had brought their ninety-nine small armies to sur-
round the royal capital. When they received the
king’s message and their small portions of the
royal treasure, they held a meeting. They decided
that each portion was so small it was almost
meaningless. Therefore, they would not accept
But then they realized that, in the same
way, if they fought with King Gamani and then
with each other, the kingdom itself would be
divided into small worthless portions. Each small
piece of the once-great kingdom would be weak
in the face of any unfriendly country. So they sent
back their portions of the royal treasure as
offerings of peace, and accepted the rule of King
The king was pleased, and invited his
brothers to the palace to celebrate the peace and
unity of the kingdom. He entertained them in the
most perfect ways – with generosity, pleasant
conversation, providing instruction for their bene-
fit, and treating all with even-handed courtesy.
In this way the king and the ninety-nine
princes became closer as friends than they had
been as brothers. They were strong in their sup-
port of each other. This was known in all the sur-
rounding countries, so no one threatened the
kingdom or its people. After a few months, the
ninety-nine brothers returned to their provinces.
King Gamani the Righteous invited his
wise old teacher to live in the palace. He honoured
him with great wealth and many gifts. He held a
celebration for his respected teacher, saying to the
full court, “I, who was the one-hundredth prince,
among one hundred worthy princes, owe all my
success to the wise advice of my generous and
understanding teacher. Likewise, all who follow
their wise teachers’ advice will earn prosperity
and happiness. Even the unity and strength of the
kingdom, we owe to my beloved teacher.”
The kingdom prospered under the remain-
der of the generous and just rule of King Gamani
the Righteous.
The moral is: One is rewarded a hundred-fold
for following the advice of a
wise teacher.

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