Monday, March 24, 2014

Yasodhara - Tha Abandonned wife of Buddha

What would it like to be Yasodhara?  Abandoned by the Buddha with your new born son, Yasodhara means bearing and splendor glory in Sanskrit, but were all those days without the Buddha so gloryful?  Her father was a King (King Suppabuddha) and her mother was Queen Pamita, the sister of Buddha's father King Suddhodana.

In Buddhist lore Yashodharā meets Siddhārtha Gautama for the first time in a previous life, when as the young brahmiSumedha, he is formally identified as a future Buddha by the then current Buddha, Dipankara.
Waiting in the city of Paduma for Dipankara, he tries to buy flowers as an offering to the Enlightened One, but soon learns that the king already bought all the flowers for his own offering. Yet, as Dipankara is approaching, Sumedha spots a girl named Sumidha (or Bhadra) holding eight lotuses in her hands. He speaks to her with the intention of buying one of her flowers, but she recognises at once his potential and offers him five of the lotuses if he would promise that they would become husband and wife in all their next existences.

 At the age of 29, she gave birth to their only child,  Rāhula. On the day of his birth, the Prince left the palace. Yasodharā was devastated. Hearing that her husband was leading a holy life, she emulated him by removing her jewelry, wearing a plain yellow robe and eating only one meal a day.

Some time after her son Rāhula became a novice monk, Yasodharā also entered the Order of Monks and Nuns.  She was ordained as Bhikkhuni included among the five hundred ladies following Mahapajapati Gotami to establish Bhikkhuni Order. She died at 78, two years before Buddha's Parinibbāna.

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