The Bodhisatta was once a very skilful archer, educated at Takkasilā and famed as Cūḷa Dhanuggaha. He was a crooked little dwarf and, lest he should be refused employment on account of his size, he persuaded a tall, well built weaver, called Bhīmasena, to be his stalking horse. Bhīmasena went with him to the king of Bārāṇasī and obtained the post of royal archer. Once, the kingdom was attacked by a tiger and Bhīmasena was sent to kill it. Following the advice of the Bodhisatta, he went with a large band of country men, and when the tiger was sighted he waited in a thicket and lay flat on his face. When he knew that the tiger had been killed, he came out of the thicket trailing a creeper in his hand and blamed the people, saying that he had meant to lead the tiger like an ox to the king and had gone into the wood to find a creeper for that purpose. “Who has killed the tiger and spoilt all my plans?” he asked. “I will report all of you to the king.” The terrified people bribed him heavily and said no word as to who had killed the tiger. The king, believing that Bhīmasena himself had killed it, rewarded him handsomely. The same thing happened with a buffalo. Bhīmasena grew rich and began to neglect the Bodhisatta. Soon after, a hostile king marched on Bārāṇasī. Bhīmasena went with a large army riding on an elephant, the Bodhisatta behind him, but at the sight of the battlefield Bhīmasena was so terrified that he fouled the elephant’s back. The Bodhisatta taunted him and sent him home, while he himself captured the enemy king and brought him to the king of Bārāṇasī, who showed him all honour.
The story was related in reference to a monk who, although of low family, used to boast of that family’s greatness. The truth was discovered and his pretensions exposed. He is identified with Bhīmasena. J.i.355‑9.