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     Supparaka - The Mariner

Once there lived Supparaka, who was a great mariner. One day, a sudden storm had occurred and when he was trying to save his ship from the storm, the salt-water entered into his eyes and he soon from that time itself became blind.

Although he was blind, he was capable with some other talents. So, he soon entered the service of the king of the land as a value. The truth in his evaluation frequently surprised the people because he was blind. However, on the other hand, the king never paid him acceptably.

One day, the king was in a want to buy an elephant. So, he asked Supparaka to suggest the price for the same good one. Observing the elephant, he pointed out that the animal’s backside leg was not correct. When the people observed the leg they found the valuer’s decision correct. Yet, the king paid him only eight pieces of money for his treatment.

Also as well, his decisions with view to a horse, a chariot and a blanket, which the king wanted to purchase, proved to be correct and honest; and revealed his faithfulness to the king. But on each occasion the king paid him only eight pieces of money.

Dismayed with the king’s attitude, he, one day left the king’s service to start his own fresh life.

But very soon, he received a well-paid offer from some rich merchants, who had specially made a ship and were looking for an experienced ship captain. First, he rejected this offer, as he was blind. But when requested again and again, he accepted the offer. Finally, he became the captain of the ship, which sailed to a foreign port. But after a week, it was caught in a very bad storm. To save the ship, Supparaka drove it to some of the oceans, which was named as, Khuramala, Aggimala, Dadhimala, Nilavannakusamala, Nalamala and Valabhamukha. Yet, he could not bring it to the shore again in  safe condition. When the people on board were losing heart and all their hopes were being thrown away, he performed the Sacchakiriya’ (‘Act of Truth’) by reciting, “if he was righteous, the ship shall be saved”. Next day, the ship sailed back to the port of Bharukaccha and was anchored there, safely.




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