When the world was yet young, a golden swan, who had been elected king of the birds, had a lovely daughter, and to her he promised the boon of being allowed to choose her own husband. When all the birds were assembled, she gazed on them, and, by reason of his beautiful colouring, chose the peacock. Overjoyed by his good fortune, the peacock spread his feathers and began to dance, thus exposing himself, and feeling no shame. The swan king was so shocked by this lack of modesty that he gave his daughter to a young swan.
The story was related in reference to a monk who was charged before the Buddha with possessing too many clothes. On being questioned by the Buddha, he removed all his clothes and stood naked in the assembly. The people expressed disgust at his behaviour, and he became a layman. He is identified with the peacock of the story.
J.i.206 ﬀ. The story is sculptured in Bharhut; see Stupa of Bharhut. Pl.zzvii. (11).