The Bodhisatta was once born as Dhatarattha, king of ninety thousand golden geese living in Cittakūta. One day some of his flock came upon Lake Mānusiya, near the haunts of men, and finding it a rich feeding-ground, persuaded him much against his will to go there with them. But immediately he alighted he was caught in a fowler's noose and found escape impossible. He waited till the flock had fed, then gave the cry of alarm at which all the geese flew away except his commander-in-chief, Sumukha. When the fowler came, Sumukha offered to give his life for his king, and thereby softened the fowler's heart. The latter set Dhatarattha free and tended his wounds, and because of the man's great charity the king of the geese became whole again. When the fowler suggested that they should fly home, the two geese insisted that they should be taken to Sakula, the king of the land, the Mahimsaka country, that they might obtain for the fowler a suitable reward. When the king heard the story he gave to the fowler a village yielding one hundred thousand annually, a chariot and a large store of gold. Dhatarattha preached to the king the moral law and, after being paid great honour, returned to Cittakūta.
The story was related in reference to Ananda's attempt to offer his life in order to save the Buddha from being killed by the elephant Nālāgiri. Channa is identified with the fowler, Sāriputta with the king, and Ananda with Sumukha. J.v.333-.54; DhA.i.119; cf. the Mahāhamsa Jātaka and the Hamsa Jātaka.