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Supparaka Jataka:

(About one of the Previous Lives of the Buddha)

(4th century BCE).


Taken from: Foreign Trade and Commerce in Ancient India by Prakash Charan Prasad






Jataka =stories about the different births of Budha.

Left and right from a different Jataka where Budha was also a shipmaster and the ship,also got in problems.

Supparaka is the name of the Buddha in this jataka and he is a master in seamanship.

The ship started the voyage in Bharukaccha (Gujarat) ‎

Through the Khuramali ocean (southern portion of the Persian Gulf) they reach the Aggimala sea.

(Sea between Aden and Somalia = the sea of Barbara).

Mr. Prakash Charan Prasad identifies the Khuramali Ocean on the fish with a human body. (The fish God of Sumer)


For seven days the ship sailed without mishap: then an unseasonable wind arose. Four months the vessel tost about on aprimeval ocean, until she arrived at what is called the Khuramala Sea. Here fish with bodies like men, and sharp razor-like snouts,dive in and out of the water. ……………………………………..

The ship past over this sea, and came to another called Aggimala. This sea sent forth a radiance like a blazing bonfire,like the sun at midday. The merchants questioned him in this stanza:

Lo! an ocean like a bonfire blazing, like the sun, we see!

Speak, Supparaka, and tell us what the name of this may be?

The Great Being replied to them in the stanza next following:

Merchants come from Bharukaccha, seeking riches to purvey,

This is Aggimali ocean where your ship has gone astray.