Preached at Jetavana to Anāthapindika and his five hundred friends, who were followers of other schools. They had gone with the banker to hear the Buddha preach and became converts. But when the Buddha left Sāvatthi and went to Rājagaha they reverted to their old faiths, coming back to the Buddha when he returned to Sāvatthi.

The story of the past is of two merchants who travel with caravans across a desert. One, beguiled by goblins, throws away his drinking water and is devoured with all his people and cattle. The other completes his journey safely, not putting faith in the goblins. The moral is that the followers of false teachers are led astray. The foolish merchant was Devadatta (J.i.95ff).

This Jātaka will be among the last to be forgotten when the Dhamma disappears from the world at the end of the Kāliyuga. AA.i.51.

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