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Hasti Jataka

Once the Bodhisattva was born an elephant and lived alone in a forest. One day while wandering,  he heard the wailing of a large number of people. He rushed to that place was surprised to discover a party of wayfarers in profound grief. They had been driven away by their king and for days they had not eaten.  They were in great distress. The elephant knew that the wayfarers would not find anything in the forest and would all die of starvation if he did not provide them with food. So he decided to sacrifice his body, as that alone could sustain them. The elephant asked the wayfarers to proceed to a cliff near a lake. There, he said, they would find the body of an elephant. The flesh of the elephant, he said, would be enough to see them through their journey. The travelers proceed to the spot mentioned. In the meanwhile, the elephant climbed to the top of the cliff and flung himself down from it. When the wayfarers reached the spot they were supposed to, they found the body of an elephant. The wayfarers discovered to their surprise and sorrow that it was the body of the same elephant they had met earlier. He had killed himself for them. They were overwhelmed by this benevolence. Following his advice they took the flesh that  provided them food for the journey.