To Drink, To Eat, To be Hungry and To be Thirsty in Jatakatthakatha : Meaning in Buddhism

Ratchaneekorn Ratchatakorntrakoon




This article aims to study the usage of verbs about consumption, such as ‘to drink’, ‘to eat’, ‘to be hungry’, and ‘to be thirsty’, that appear in conjunction with something that is not food; for example, “Best to be full of wisdom” in Jātakaṭṭhakathā. This article also seeks to study the relationship between the dharma message conveyed by this technique and the function of Jātakaṭṭhakathā, the Buddhist text. The data used are aṭṭhakathās on 300 Jātakas. The result reveals that the use of verbs about consuming in conjunction with something that is not food is an implicit food metaphor used to convey the idea that kāma is similar to food. When man consumes kāma, he has a craving. That means, he is hungry or thirsty to consume kāma forever, so craving is the cause of suffering. On the other hand, the intellectual man is full, which means he does not desire to consume kāma, therefore, he has the insight for the cessation of suffering. The implicit food metaphor accomplishes the function of creating the idea of the intellect for the readers.


(Published in Rian Thai: International Journal of Thai Studies, Volume 5/2012, Page 209-225)


Full Text : Download