Brahmadatta, king of Benares, wishing to have a palace built on one column, sent his carpenters to find a suitable tree. They found many such in the forest, but no road by which to transport them. At last they discovered a lordly sāla tree in the king's park and made preparations to cut it down. The deity of the tree (Bhaddasāla 2), who was the Bodhisatta, was greatly distressed at the prospect of the destruction of his children. He, therefore, visited the king by night and begged him not to have the tree cut down. When the king refused this request, Bhaddasāla asked that the tree should be cut down in pieces, so that in its fall it might not damage its kindred round about. This feeling of Bhaddasāla for his kinsmen touched the king, and he desisted from his purpose of destroying the tree.
The story was related in reference to the Buddha's interference with Vidūdabha when he wished to destroy the Sākyans.
Ananda is identified with the king (J.iv.153-7).
On this occasion was preached also the Kukkura Jātaka (No.22), the Kāka Jātaka (No.140), and the Mahākapi Jātaka (No.407).