Also called the Nigrodha Jātaka. Once the Bodhisatta was born as king of the deer and was called Nigrodha. With him was the leader of another herd, and he was called Sākha. There was an agreement between these two leaders that, on alternate days, a deer from their herd should offer itself to be killed by the king of Bārāṇasī. One day the turn fell on a pregnant doe of Sākha’s herd, and when she asked to be allowed to wait until she had brought forth her young she was refused by Sākha. She then appealed to Nigrodha, who took her turn on himself. Immunity had been granted to Nigrodha, and when his act was reported to the king, he came in person to enquire into the matter. On hearing the story, he was greatly moved, and promised immunity both to Nigrodha and the doe. However, Nigrodha was not satisfied until the king promised immunity to all living beings. Later, on discovering that the deer, taking advantage of this, were destroying men’s crops, Nigrodha, gave orders to his herd to refrain from doing so.
The story was related in reference to the mother of Kumāra-
Devadatta is identified with Sākha, Kumāra-
J.i.145 ﬀ; DhA.iii.148 f. The story is figured in the Bharhut Stupa (Cunningham: pl. xxv. (1) and xliii. (2). It is given in Mtu. (i.359 ﬀ.) with several variations in detail.