克孜尔第114窟 一切施王施身 局部
King Sarvada Bestows His Body
Once upon a time, there was a king named Sarvada (literally “all-bestowing”). He had a philanthropic mind and ruled with righteous laws, thus people from all around the world came to settle in his kingdom. Seeing a decrease of his own subjects, King Mara (literally “king of resentment”) of a neighboring country grew jealous and resentful against the King Sarvada. He summoned a massive force in great momentum against the King Sarvada. As the capital was under siege, soldiers requested to engage. “Lower your weapons, for the troops only came for me. I will go meditating in the deep forest by myself.” said the King Sarvada. At that he abdicated to live in seclusion in the forest.
After occupying the kingdom, King Mara issued an order, “Anyone who catches the King Sarvada shall be handsomely rewarded!” However, in his seclusion, the King Sarvada lived a quiet life of meditation with birds and beasts. One day, an impoverished Brahman came and said to King Sarvada, “I came here to evade my debts. Having heard that the King Sarvada often helps those in poverty, I hope that he could accommodate me.” Hearing this, King Sarvada said, “I am Sarvada. I don’t have a kingdom or home anymore, and nor do I have any money for you. Still my head is worth a fortune. You shall turn me in to King Mara.” The Brahman couldn’t do it, so King Sarvada tied his own arms and asked the Brahman to take him to King Mara. Seeing this, King Mara was deeply impressed by the selflessness and greatness of King Sarvada. He realized how much of a moral dwarf he must be compared with King Sarvada. King Mara immediately released King Sarvada and returned the country to him. From then on, two countries lived in forever peace.
—From Jakata Stories of the Bodhisattva
克孜尔第17窟 一切施王施身 局部