The Bodhisatta was once born as an elephant in the Himavā and looked after his blind mother, who lived near Mount Caṇḍoraṇa. One day he met a forester who had lost his way, and, feeling sorry for him, the elephant set him on the right path, carrying him on his back. However, the forester was wicked, and, on his return to Bārāṇasī, told the king about the elephant. The king asked him to fetch the elephant, who, seeing the forester approaching, meekly followed him lest his virtue be impaired. The elephant was received in the city with great pomp and placed in the royal stables as the state elephant, but he would touch no morsel of food. The king enquired into this and learnt of the elephant’s blind mother. Thereupon the elephant was set free, and returned to the Himavā amid the applause of the people. The king built a town near the elephant’s dwelling, where he showed him great honour, and later, when, at his mother’s death, the elephant went away to the Karandaka monastery to wait on the ascetics there, the king did the same for them.
The story was related in reference to a monk who tended his mother. For details see the Suvaṇṇasāma Jātaka. Ānanda is identified with the king, whose name is given as Vedeha, and Mahāmāyā with the mother-
The Dhammapada Commentary (DhA.iv.13) calls this the Mātuposaka Nāgarāja Jātaka and gives the name of the elephant as Dhanapāla. It was related to the four sons of a brahmin who waited on their aged father. The audience shed floods of tears, so greatly were they moved, and the brahmin and his sons became Stream-