Two kings, Brahmadatta of Benares (the Bodhisatta) and Mallika of Kosala, while journeying in disguise, in order to discover if anyone in their respective kingdoms could tell them of any faults which they (the kings) possessed, meet in a narrow path, and a dispute arises among the charioteers as to who should give place. It is discovered that both are of the same age and power. Each driver sings the praises of his own master, but then they discover that Mallika is good to the good and bad to the bad, while Brahmadatta is good to both the good and the bad. Mallika's charioteer acknowledges Brahmadatta as the superior and gives place.
The story is related to Pasenadi, who comes to the Buddha after having had to decide a difficult case involving moral turpitude. He is satisfied that he has done well, and the Buddha agrees with him that to administer justice with impartiality is the way to heaven.
Mallika is identified with Ananda and his driver with Moggallāna, while Brahmadatta's driver is Sāriputta. J.ii.1ff.
Once the king of Benares, wishing to discover if he ruled justly, traveled about in disguise, and, in the course of his wanderings, came to the Himālaya, where the Bodhisatta lived as an ascetic. The ascetic gave him ripe figs, and, when asked why they were so sweet, explained that the king of the country was evidently a just ruler. The king returned to his kingdom and ruled for a while unjustly; and returning again to the hermitage, he found that the figs had become bitter.
The story was related to Pasenadi, in order to show the importance of a king ruling wisely and justly. Ananda is identified with the king of the story. J.iii.110 12; cp. Mahākapi Jātaka (No. 407).