The Buddha while in the Causal Stages (of Bodhisattvahood) Cultivates Sacrificing His Body to Aid a Tigress
The Great Canon states: Prince Sattva sacrificed his body to aid a tigress; when his parents heard this, they hastened to the place of his spent body. By that time, the tigress had eaten the flesh and the skeletal remains alone were scattered about on the ground. His father and mother stroked his head and feet, crying piteously in extremely low spirits. When the prince’s life ended, he was born into Tushita Heaven. With his divine eye, (the prince) saw before him the parents grieving, unduly weeping and wailing, perhaps even to the point of losing their own lives. “I should remonstrate them.” Forthwith, he came down from heaven. Floating in the air, he uttered various statements of explanation as well as remonstrance to his father and mother.
The parents looking up queried, “You are a god, yes?” The heavenly being replied, “I am the Prince Mahasattva. I was reborn into the Tushita Heaven due to my aiding the tigress. As my parents, you should know that whatever exists must cease to exist; why are you yourselves not aware of this?” The parents said, “You conduct yourself with great kindness, a kindness reaching all.” Thereupon the deva further thanked his parents with lines of a verse enabling them obtain awakening. All encompassing is the Thus Come One’s divine wisdom and understanding; it is beyond thought or description. At that time, the Prince Sattva was namely I, (Shakyamuni).