The Bodhisatta was once born as Makhādeva, king of Mithilā in Videha. For successive periods of eighty four thousand years each he had respectively amused himself as prince, ruled as viceroy, and reigned as king. He one day asked his barber to tell him as soon as he had any grey hairs. When, many years later, the barber found a grey hair, he pulled it out and laid it on the king's palm as he had been requested. The king had eighty-four thousand years yet to live, but he granted the barber a village yielding one hundred thousand, and, on that very day, gave over the kingdom to his son and renounced the world as though he had seen the King of Death. For eighty four thousand years he lived as a recluse in the Makhādeva-ambavana and was reborn in the Brahma world. Later, he became once more king of Mithilā under the name of Nimi, and in that life, too, he became a recluse.
The barber is identified with Ananda and the son with Rāhula. The story was related to some monks who were talking one day about the Buddha's Renunciation. J.i.137ff.; cp. M.ii.74ff., and J.vi.95. See Thomas: op. cit., 127.