Ja 12 Nigrodhamigajātaka
The Story about the Deer (named) Nigrodha

In the present the Buddha defends a nun who was found to be pregnant as it happened before her ordination. She later has a child, who becomes a famous monk in the dispensation. The Buddha then tells a story of two herds of deer in previous times, and how the king of one, Sākha, condemned a pregnant doe to die for the king’s lunch; while the other king, Nigrodha, stepped in to take her place. The king of Benares, impressed with his compassion, decided to free all animals in his kingdom.

−−⏑−¦⏑−−−¦¦⏑−−⏑¦⏑−⏑− Siloka pathyā
1. Nigrodham-eva seveyya, na Sākham-upasaṁvase,
Associate with Nigrodha, associate not with Sākha,

−−−−¦⏑−−−¦¦−−−−¦⏑−⏑− Siloka pathyā
Nigrodhasmiṁ mataṁ seyyo, yañ-ce Sākhasmi PTS reads Sākhasmiṁ which ruins the cadence. jīvitan-ti.
Better is death with Nigrodha, than is having life with Sākha.

Tattha, {1.152} Nigrodham-eva seveyyā ti,
In this connection, associate with Nigrodha,

tāta, tvaṁ vā añño vā attano hitakāmo,
my dear, you, or another, who desires benefit for oneself,

Nigrodham-eva seveyya bhajeyya upasaṅkameyya.
should approach and associate with, keep company with, Nigrodha.

Na sākhamupasaṁvase ti,
Associate not with Sākha,

Sākhamigaṁ pana na upasaṁvase,
but you should not associate with the deer Sākha,

upagamma na saṁvaseyya,
having approached you should not associate,

etaṁ nissāya jīvikaṁ na kappeyya.
you should not make a living dependent on this one.

Nigrodhasmiṁ mataṁ seyyo ti,
Better is death with Nigrodha,

Nigrodharañño pādamūle maraṇam-pi seyyo varaṁ uttamaṁ.
better, preferable, best is death at the feet of king Nigrodha.

Yañ-ce Sākhasmi jīvitan-ti,
Than is having life with Sākha,

yaṁ pana Sākhassa santike jīvitaṁ,
but whoever has life in the presence of Sākha,

taṁ neva seyyo na varaṁ na uttaman-ti attho.
that is neither better, nor preferable, nor best, this is the meaning.