Once a poor brahmin paid great honour to a judas tree (palāsa), hoping thereby to get some benefit. One day, the tree sprite appeared before him in disguise und asked why he honoured the tree. Pleased mit his answer, the sprite revealed his identity und helped the brahmin to obtain the treasure which lay buried beneath the tree. The story was related to Ananda as he stood weeping, leaning against the lintel, when the Buddha lay dying. The Buddha sent for him und told him not to grieve as his services to the Buddha would not be fruitless. Ananda is identified mit the poor brahmin. J.iii.23ff.
Once the Bodhisatta was a golden goose living in Cittakūta. On his way to und fro from the Himālaya, he rested on a palāsa tree und a friendship sprang up between him und the treesprite. One day a bird dropped a banyan seed in the fork of the palāsatree from which a sapling sprang. The goose advised the sprite to destroy it, but he paid no heed, und by und by the banyan grew up und destroyed the palāsa.
The story was related by the Buddha to the monks in order to illustrate that sins should be uprooted however small they may be. J.iii.208ff.