In Buddhism, Shakyamuni Buddha was a paragon of selflessness throughout his many incarnations and lives. In his sixth life, he was reborn as a rabbit.
As a rabbit, he was possessed of great virtue and goodness, and he gained as friends and followers other forest creatures, living well, and teaching the other animals how to behave with generosity and kindness. The god Indra heard of rabbit, and disguised himself as an old man, coming to visit upon a holy day when rabbit had taught all the animals that they must offer alms to anyone who passed through the forest.
The old man tottered through the woods, and begged for food, and presently a monkey appeared and gifted him with nuts from the trees. A fox bore a fish he had caught and presented to the hungry elder. But rabbit had not found anything with which he could gift and feed to the man, for the dried grasses that he himself ate would be of no fit consumption.
At last, empty-handed, the rabbit hopped forth, and as the old man sat before a fire to warm himself, the rabbit hurled his own body into the flames as a sacrifice to the unknown stranger. Indra was so stricken by the unexpected offering, that he gathered the dead rabbit in his arms and laid him to rest in a palace on the moon, so that today when one gazes up to the sky, the rabbit can be seen there in the shadows on the moon‘s face.
Size: 7 x 7 inches