Nanguttha Jātaka (No. 144)
Once the Bodhisatta was born in a brahmin family in the
North Country, and on the day of his birth his parents lit for him a sacrificial
fire. When he grew up, family life having no attractions for him, he took the
fire to a hermitage in the forest and there tended it. One day he was given a
cow in lieu of fee, sad, wishing to sacrifice it to the Lord of Fire, he left it
by the fire and went to the village in search of salt. When he returned he found
that thieves had eaten the cow, leaving only the hide and the tail. Disgusted
that the Lord of Fire could not even guard his own possessions, he put out the
fire and became a recluse.
The story was related in reference to a question as to
whether the Ajivikas - some of whom lived behind
obtained any merit through the practice of their difficult penances. J. i.493ff.