The Bodhisatta is born as leader of a herd of monkeys. He has given strict injunctions that none of his followers should eat or drink in a strange place without his consent. One day the monkeys are very thirsty and arrive at a lake in the forest, but will not drink until their leader arrives. He examines the lake and discovers that it is haunted by an ogre. He then provides all his followers with long reeds which, by the power of his virtue, immediately become hollow throughout. Thenceforth all the reeds round that lake are hollow, and the lake itself comes to be known as Nalakapānapokkharani.
This is one of the four miracles which will endure throughout the kappa.
The story was related by the Buddha in the village of Nalakapāna to explain the hollowness of the canes which grew round the lake. The ogre in the story is identified with Devadatta. J.i.170ff.