Silver-Colored Woman Sutra ［銀色女経］ (Chin Yin-se-nü-ching; Gonjikinyo-kyō): A short sutra translated into Chinese in 539 by Buddhashānta, a monk from India. It teaches the benefits of the practice of almsgiving. According to this sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha in a past existence was a woman known as Silver-Colored or Silver-Colored Woman. One day she encountered another woman who had just given birth but who was about to devour the child because of her extreme hunger. Silver-Colored begged the woman to wait until she could fetch something for her to eat, but realized that, if she took the baby with her, the mother would die of starvation before they could return with food. If she left the baby with the mother, however, the mother would surely eat it. She then asked for a knife, and with it cut off her breasts and offered them to the mother to eat, saving both mother and child. When Silver-Colored returned home, she was asked if she had any regrets at what she had done, for if she had regrets, her act of almsgiving would not be valid. She replied that she had no regrets, whereupon her breasts were immediately restored. The god Shakra, hearing of this, appeared before her in the guise of a Brahman and questioned her. She replied again that she had no regrets and said she was determined to devote herself to the salvation of all living beings. Thereupon she changed into a man. The king of the country then died, leaving no heir. Silver-Colored, now a man, was chosen to succeed him as king. In the next life, he was born the son of a wealthy man and offered his flesh to feed starving birds and beasts. He was then reborn to a Brahman family and this time offered his body to a starving mother tiger. The sutra says that he never once regretted his acts of almsgiving, and that because of such practice, he was reborn as Shakyamuni Buddha.