"How will the old folks,"--The Master told this when dwelling in Jetavana, concerning a Brother who supported his mother.
"Once upon a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisattva was born of a vulture. When he grew up he put his parents, now old and dim of eye, in a vulture's cave and fed them by bringing them flesh of cows and the like. At the time a certain hunter laid snares for vultures all about a Benares cemetery. One day the Bodhisattva seeking for flesh came to the cemetery and caught his foot in the snares. He did not think of himself, but remembered his old parents. 'How will my parents live now? I think they will die, ignorant that I am caught, helpless and destitute, wasting away in that hill-cave:' so lamenting he spoke the first stanza:--
"'How will the old folks manage now within the mountain cave?
"The son of a hunter, hearing him lament, spoke the second stanza, the vulture spoke the third, and so on alternately:--
"'Vulture, what strange laments of yours are these my ears that reach?
"'I tend my aged parents within a mountain cave,
"'Carrion a vulture sights across a hundred leagues of land;
"'When ruin comes upon a man, and fates his death demand,
"'Go, tend your aged parents within their mountain-cave,
"'O hunter, happiness be thine, with all thy kith and kin:
"Then the Bodhisattva, freed from the fear of death, joyfully gave thanks and speaking a final stanza took his mouthful of meat, and went away and gave it to his parents."
After the lesson, the Master declared the Truths and identified the Birth:--After the Truths, the Brother was established in the fruition of the First Path:--"At that time, the hunter was Channa, the parents were king's kin, the vulture-king myself."