The Bodhisatta was once born as a pig and had a brother. They were adopted by an old woman of a village near Benares and were called Mahātundila and Cullatundila.

The woman loved them like her own children and refused to sell them, but, one day, some lewd men made her drunk and she agreed to sell Cullatundila. When Cullatundila discovered this, he ran to his brother, but the latter preached to him how it was the fate of pigs to be slaughtered for their flesh; he should, therefore, meet his death bravely. All Benares heard the Bodhisatta's preaching, and flocked to the spot. The king adopted the pigs as his sons and Mahātundila was appointed to the seat of judgment. On the king's death, he wrote a book of law for the guidance of future generations.

The story was related in reference to a monk who was in constant terror of the thought of death. The monk was identified with Cullatundila (J.iii.286ff).

It is said (DhA.i.83) that the lewd men were identical with the Bhaddavaggiyā. Having heard Mahātundila preach the five precepts, they observed them for sixty thousand years, hence their attainment of arahantship as in their last birth.

Mahātundila's preaching is referred to as the Tundilovāda.

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