"Surely this lad,"--This story the Master told while dwelling in Jetavana, about the Elder Laludayi.
One day, it is said, the two chief disciples were discussing a question. The Brethren who heard the discussion praised the Elders. Elder Laludayi, who sat amongst the company, curled his lip with the thought--"What is their knowledge compared with mine?" When the Brethren noticed this, they left him. The company broke up.
The Brethren were talking about it in the Hall of Truth. "Friend, did you see how Laludayi curled his lip in scorn of the two chief disciples?" On hearing which the Master said, "Brethren, in olden days, as now, Laludayi had no other answer but a curl of the lip." Then he told them an old-world tale.
"Once upon a time, when king Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisattva was his adviser in things spiritual and temporal. Now the king had a son, Padanjali by name, an idle lazy loafer. By and bye the king died. His obsequies over, the courtiers talked of consecrating his son Padanjali to be king. But the Bodhisattva said,
"''Tis a lazy fellow, an idle loafer,--shall we take and consecrate him king?'
"The courtiers held a trial. They sat the youth down before them, and made a wrong decision. They adjudged something to the wrong owner, and asked him, 'Young sir, do we decide rightly?'
"The lad curled his lip.
"'He is a wise lad, I think,' thought the Bodhisattva; 'he must know that we have decided wrongly:' and he recited the first verse:--
"'Surely the lad is wise beyond all men.
"Next day, as before, they arranged a trial, but this time judged it aright. Again they asked him what he thought of it.
"Again he curled his lip. Then the Bodhisattva perceived that he was blind fool, and repeated the second verse:--
"'Not right from wrong, nor bad from good he knows:
"The courtiers became aware that the young man Padanjali was a fool, and they made the Bodhisattva king."
When the Master had ended this discourse, he identified the Birth: "Laludayi was Padanjali, and I was the wise courtier."