The Bodhisatta was once the leader of eighty thousand monkeys. Near their dwelling place was a village where grew a tinduka tree (Diospyros embryopteris), whose sweet fruits were eaten by the monkeys. However, the people came and built a village near the tree and the monkeys could no longer take the fruit. One night, when the villagers were asleep, they crept up to the tree and began eating the fruit. A villager gave the alarm and the monkeys were in great danger of being slain when dawn came. However, the Bodhisatta comforted them and kept them in good humour until they were rescued by his nephew, Senaka, who set fire to the village, distracting the attention of the people, thus allowing the monkeys to escape.
The story was related in illustration of the Bodhisatta’s sagacity (J.ii.76 f).
Senaka is identified with Mahānāma the Sākyan.