This is a story declaiming the virtues of selfless giving, which refers to a willingness to give to others without the slightest attachment to wealth or possession. The eponymous hero is driven by a longing to give away everything he owns to those who merely ask. This desire lands him in trouble with his father, the king because ultimately, he gives away a precious wish-granting jewel that kept the kingdom safe from enemies. As a punishment, he is banished into exile with his wife and children. Even in exile, he continues his giving and parts with his children, his wife, and his eyes. Finally, however, the beggars who requested such impossible gifts reveal themselves as gods and announce that they were only testing the prince. His family and eyesight are restored and they return to their repentant father.
This story has its origin in a well-known Jataka, or past-life story, of the Buddha when he was born as Prince Viśvantara. This particular Jataka is the ninth in the Garland of Past Lives by the Indian master Aśvaghoșa.