"Who is it sits,"--This story the Master told at the Bamboo-grove, about Devadatta and Kokalika. At the time when Devadatta began to lose his gettings and his repute, Kokalika went from house to house, saying, "Elder Devadatta is born of the line of the First Great King, of the royal stock of Okkaka, by an uninterrupted noble descent, versed in all the scriptures, full of ecstatic sanctity, sweet of speech, a preacher of the law. Give to the Elder, help him!" In these words he praised up Devadatta. On the other hand, Devadatta praised up Kokalika, in such words as these: "Kokalika comes from a northern Brahmin family; he follows the religious life; he is learned in doctrine, a preacher of the law. Give to Kokalika, help him!" So they went about, praising each other, and getting fed in different houses. One day the brothers began to talk about it in the Hall of Truth. "Friend, Devadatta and Kokalika go about praising each other for virtues which they haven't got, and so getting food." The Master came in, and asked what they were talking about as they sat there. They told him. Said he, "Brethren, this is not the first time that these men have got food by praising each other. Long ago they did the same," and he told them an old-world tale.
"Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was king of Benares, the Bodhisattva became a tree-sprite in a certain rose-apple grove. Crow perched upon a branch of his tree, and began to eat the fruit. Then came a Jackal, and looked up and spied the Crow. Thought he, 'If I flatter this creature, perhaps I shall get some of the fruit to eat!' So in flattery he repeated the first stanza:
"'Who is it sits in a rose-apple tree--
"The Crow, in his praise, responded with the second:
"'He that is noble in breeding and birth
"With these words she shook the branch and made some fruit drop. Then the spirit of the tree, beholding these two eating, after flattering each other, repeated the third stanza:
"'Liars foregather, I very well know.
"After repeating this stanza, the tree-sprite, assuming a fearful shape, scared them both away."
When the Master had ended this discourse, he summed up the Birth-tale; "At that time the Jackal was Devadatta, the Crow was Kokalika, but the Spirit of the Tree was I myself."