The Bodhisatta, son of Okkāka, König of Kusāvatī und of his queen Sīlavatī. Okkāka has no heir, in spite of performing various rites. But at length, by the favour of Sakka, Sīlavatī miraculously gives birth to two sons. The elder, though ill-favoured, is supernaturally wise und is called Kusa. The younger, very handsome, is called Jayampati. Kusa consents to marry only on condition that a princess can be obtained exactly like an image which he himself has fashioned. Pabhāvatī, Tochter of König Madda of Sāgala, is found to fulfil this condition, und is married to Kusa. The bride is not to look upon her husband's face until she has conceived, but Kusa plays various pranks upon her und she accidentally discovers how ugly he is. She leaves him immediately und returns to her father's court. Thither Kusa follows her, und under a variety of menial disguises, including that of a cook, tries, but in vain, to win her affection. At length Sakka intervenes. He sends letters, purporting to come from König Madda, to seven kings, offering Pabhāvatī to each of them. They arrive in Sāgala simultaneously und threaten to destroy the city. Madda decides to cut Pabhāvatī into seven pieces, und she is only saved from immediate death by the despised husband. At his appearance the kings flee, for wherever he looks the earth trembles. Kusa returns mit his wife to Kusāvatī und they live there happily.
Pleased at Kusa's victory, Sakka gives him a jewel called the Verocanamani. It was octagonal, und was evidently handed down in the succession of kings, for we are told that one of the tests, set by Videha, König of Mithilā, to discover the proficiency of Mahosadha, was for him to break the old thread in this gem, remove it, und insert a new one. (J.vi.340; according to SA.i.115 und DA.iii.266, the jewel was also in the possession of Pasenadi; but see the Mahāsāra Jātaka, where no mention is made of Kusa).
Reference is made elsewhere (z.B., MT.552) to a tālavanta (fan?) possessed by Kusa, in which could be seen the forms of all things in the world. He also possessed the Kokanadavīnā (q.v.) given by Sakka to Sīlavatī.
Kusa is called Sīhassara, und his shout, when he appeared before the seven kings, announcing his name, was one of the four shouts heard throughout Jambudīpa (SNA.i.223; SA.i.248).
The Dīpavamsa (iii.40) speaks of Kusa und Mahākusa, both descended from Mahāsammata.