The Buddha visits the Makhādeva ambavana, and, at a certain spot, smiles. In reply to Ananda's question, he tells him the story of Makhādeva, of how he renounced the world when gray hairs appeared on his head and became a recluse, enjoining on his eldest son to do likewise when the time came. Makhādeva developed the four Brahmavihārā and was reborn in the Brahma world. Eighty four thousand of his descendants, in unbroken succession, followed the tradition set by him; the last of the kings to do this was Nimi, and his virtue having been remarked by the gods of Tāvatimsa, Sakka invited him there. Nimi accepted the invitation, but later returned to earth to rule righteously and to observe the four fast days in each month. Nimi's son was Kālārajanaka, who broke the high tradition and proved the last of the line.
Makhādeva's tradition led only to the Brahma world, but the teachings of the Buddha lead to Enlightenment and Nibbāna.
Makhādeva is identified with the Buddha. M.ii.74 ff.; cp. Makhādeva Jātaka and Nimi Jātaka.