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Vithura Chadok (วิธุรชาดก)

Thai name for one of the ten jataka, i.e. life stories of the previous incarnations of the Buddha, in which the bodhisattva was born as a wise man named Vithura Bandit, who in Sanskrit is referred to as Vidura or Vidhura Pandita, which could be translated as ‘Wise Expert’. Vithura Bandit was a confidant of the King of Kuru. One day, when Princess Irandati or Nang Arinthantih (อริทันตี), the daughter of the King of the Nagas was playing in the royal garden, the giant Punnaka (ปุณณก), flying by on his winged horse, heard her singing and when he saw her amusing herself on a swing adorned with flowers all by herself, he instantly fell in love with her. The princess was equally charmed by his looks and they went to her father to as ask permission to get married. Unable to to immediately decide, he turned to the advise of his minister. However, the latter was jealous of the popularity of Vithura Bandit and told the King he should offer his daughter in marriage to whomever would bring him Vithura Bandit's heart, which he claimed could be used in curing his ailing wife. The Naga King agreed to the plan and the giant volunteered to bring it to him. Hence, he set out to the Kingdom of Kuru. Once there, he played a game of dice with the King of Kuru in which he wagered his jewels and his horse against the King's most precious gem, i.e. Vithura Bandit. Upon winning, the giant took his reward, tied Vithura Bandit to his horse's tail and left for the Naga Kingdom. In order to get to Vithura Bandit's heart, Punnaka tried to kill him, yet was unsuccessful. Then, the giant grabbed the sage and whirled him around, threatening to throw him from the mountain they were standing on. When Vithura Bandit asked the giant why he tried to kill him, the latter told him the truth. Vithura Bandit then preached to him and told the giant that he had misinterpreted the request for his heart, that it had not meant his physical heart, but the heart of his wisdom that was desired. Upon hearing this Punnaka changed his mind and decided to take the sage back to Indapatta, the capital of Kuru. However, Vithura Bandit asked the giant to take him to the Naga Kingdom instead. There, Vithura Bandit delivered a sermon to the nagas, whom ‒after listening to him‒ all had faith in him and yearned for his words of wisdom. Also transliterated as Withura Chadok and the protagonist's name may also be spelled Vithurabandit. See also POSTAGE STAMPS.