The story cycle of King Udena, in many
respects the most interesting of all the stories of the Dhammapada Commentary
It consists of six stories of diverse
origin and character, dealing with the fortunes of the king, his three
queen-consorts and his treasurer.
Only two of the stories are really
concerned with Udena, the rest being introduced by familiar literary devices.
Versions of each of the six stories occur in the writings of Buddhaghosa,
indicating that they go back to a common source.
Parallels to one or more stories are
also to be found in the Divyāvadāna, the Kathāsaritsāgara and other Sanskrit
collections and in the Tibetan Kandjur.
For an analysis of the cycle and its
parallels see Burlinghame, Bud. Legends, i., pp.51 and 62ff.