Nandiyamiga Jātaka (No. 385)
The Bodhisatta was once born as a deer named Nandiya and
looked after his parents. The king of Kosala was very fond of hunting, and his
subjects, that they might be left in peace, planned to drive deer from the
forest into a closed park where the king might hunt. Nandiya, seeing the men
come, left his parents in the thicket and joined the deer who were being driven
into the park so that his parents might not be seen. The deer agreed each to
take his turn in being killed by the king. The Bodhisatta stayed on even in
spite of a message brought by a Brahmin from his parents though he
could have escaped. But he wished to show his gratitude to the king who had
supplied the deer with food and drink. When his turn came to be killed, he
appeared fearlessly before the king, and by the power of his virtue the king's
bow refused to shoot. The king thereupon realized Nandiya's goodness and granted
him a boon. Nandiya asked for security for all living beings, and established
the king in the path of virtue.
The story was related in reference to a monk who was
blamed for looking after his parents. But the Buddha praised him.
The king of the story was Ananda, and the Brahmin who
brought the message was Sāriputta. J. iii.270ff.