The Bodhisattva was once born as a pious hare. One evening he was about to meditate when his eye caught the almost complete orb of the moon in the distant sky. He remembered that the coming day was the holy fifteenth day of the brighter half of the month – the day on which one should not eat a single morsel before offering food to the guest first.
The Bodhisattva felt worried as he had no food that was good enough for a guest. After much thought, he decided to offer his body as food to anyone who may come to visit him.
Now, Sakka, the King of Gods, learning about the Bodhisattva’s resolve, appeared in the forest the next day to test his strength of character. He took the guise of a Brahmin and pretended to be in dire need of food. Seeing the Brahmin, the Bodhisattva lit a fire by striking two stones and jumped into the raging flames.
Sakka was stunned by this act of sacrifice. The hare’s soul went up to Heaven and Sakka, in his honor, adorned the moon with the hare’s image.
The author of this story is unknown and greatly appreciated!