Once the Bodhisatta was the sprite of a nimba tree in a cemetery, and one day, when a robber with stolen goods came in front of the tree, he drove him off, lest he should be discovered and impaled on a stake from the tree. When the king's officials came to find the robber, he had disappeared, and they went away. Nearby was a bodhi tree whose sprite was Sāriputta.

The story was related to Moggallāna, who saw a man lurking near his cell, and, feeling suspicious, drove him away. Later, his suspicions were confirmed by the arrival of the kings men. J.iii.33 ff.

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