Yaśodharā

Yaśodharā (Pali: Yasodharā) was the former wife of Gautama Buddha—before he left his home to become a śramaṇa—the mother of Rāhula, and the sister of Devadatta[1][2]. She later became a bhikkhunī and is considered an arahatā.

Yaśodharā
Yashodhara, Bhaddakaccānā, Bimbādevī
Yasodhara, Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand
BornDevdaha
SpouseSiddhartha
FatherDandpani
MotherAmita
ReligionBuddhism
Occupationbhikkhuni

Life

Prince Siddhattha and Princess Yasodhara's marriage
The wedding celebrations of Yaśodhara and Siddhattha, depicted in Burmese fashion.

Yaśodhara was the daughter of King Suppabuddha,[3][4] and Amita, sister of the Buddha's father, King Śuddhodana. She was born on same day in the month of "Vaishaka" as Prince Gautama. Her grandfather was Añjana a Koliya[5] chief, her father was Suppabuddha and her mother, Amitā, came from a Shakya family. The Shakya and the Koliya were branches of the Ādicca (Sanskrit: Aditya) or Ikshvaku dynasty. There were no other families considered equal to them in the region and therefore members of these two royal families married only among themselves.[6]

She was wedded to her cousin, the Shakya prince Siddhartha, when they were both 16. At the age of 29, she gave birth to their only child, a boy named Rāhula. On the 7th night of his birth, the Prince left the palace. Yaśodharā was devastated and overcome with grief. Once Buddha left his home at night for enlightment, without letting the sleeping Yashodhara know about him.The next day, Yashodhara was surprised by the absence of Buddha. Later, when she came to know that Buddha is out for enlightment, Yashodhara led a simple life. [7] Although relatives sent her messages to say that they would maintain her, she did not take up those offers. Several princes sought her hand but she rejected the proposals. Throughout his six-year absence, Princess Yaśodharā followed the news of his actions closely.

When the Buddha visited Kapilavastu after enlightenment, Yaśodharā did not go to see her former husband but ask Rahula to go to Buddha to seek inheritance. For herself, she thought: "Surely if I have gained any virtue at all the Lord will come to my presence." In order to fulfill her wish, Buddha came into her presence and admired her patience and sacrifice.

Some time after her son Rāhula became a novice monk, Yaśodharā also entered the Order of Monks and Nuns and within time attained the state of an arahat. She was ordained as bhikkhuni with the five hundred women following Mahapajapati Gotami that first established the bhikkhuni order. She died at 78, two years before Buddha's parinirvana (death).[8]

Legends

Siddharta and wife Yasodhara Gandhara
Prince Siddhattha and Princess Yasodhara, India, 1st–2nd century CE, Gandharan style. Lahore Museum.
Indian Museum Sculpture - Siddhartha held by Yasodhara, Loriyan Tangai (9220901098)
Siddhartha held by Yasodhara, Loriyan Tangai.

In the Chinese: 佛本行集經, The Collective Sutra of the Buddha's Past Acts, Yashodharā meets Siddhārtha Gautama for the first time in a previous life, when as the young Brahmin (ancient Indian priest) Sumedha, he is formally identified as a future Buddha by the buddha of that era, Dīpankara Buddha. Waiting in the city of Paduma for Dīpankara Buddha, he tries to buy flowers as an offering 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 Sumithra (or Bhadra) holding seven lotus flowers 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.

In the thirteenth chapter of the Lotus Sutra, Yaśodharā receives a prediction from Gautama Buddha as does Mahapajapati.[9]

Names

The meaning of the name Yaśodhara (Sanskrit) [from yaśas "glory, splendour" + dhara "bearing" from the verbal root dhri "to bear, support"] is Bearer of glory. The names she has been called besides Yaśodharā are: Yaśodharā Theri (doyenne Yaśodharā), Bimbādevī, Bhaddakaccānā and Rāhulamātā (mother of Rahula).[10] In the Pali Canon, the name Yaśodharā is not found; there are two references to Bhaddakaccānā.[11]

See also

References

  1. ^ K.T.S. Sarao (2004). "In-laws of the Buddha as Depicted in Pāli Sources". Chung-Hwa Buddhist Journal. Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies (17). ISSN 1017-7132.
  2. ^ "Suppabuddha". Dictionary of Pali Names.
  3. ^ Garling, Wendy (2016). Stars at Dawn: Forgotten Stories of Women in the Buddha's Life. Shambhala Publications. p. 83. ISBN 9780834840300.
  4. ^ "Dhammapada Verse 128 Suppabuddhasakya Vatthu". Tipitaka.net.
  5. ^ "Koliyā". Palikanon.com.
  6. ^ Why was the Sakyan Republic Destroyed? by S. N. Goenka (Translation and adaptation of a Hindi article by S. N. Goenka published by the Vipassana Research Institute in December 2003, archived)
  7. ^ "The Compassionate Buddha". Geocities.com. Archived from the original on 21 October 2009. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  8. ^ The Lord Buddha and His Teachings
  9. ^ Lotus sutra including chapter thirteen Translated by The Buddhist Text Translation Society in USA)
  10. ^ French text: Yashodhara (glorieuse) est la cousine et l’épouse principale de Gautama, mère de son fils Rahula. Connue par les Jatakas (légendes de la vie du Bouddha), elle serait devenue du vivant de Gautama une ascète, une nonne prééminente et l’un des quatre arahants de son entourage possédant l’intuition absolue 1. Les détails de sa légende sont de nos jours surtout populaires dans le bouddhisme theravada. Elle est également nommée Yashodhara Theri (doyenne Yashodhara), Bimbadevi, Bhaddakaccana ou Rahulamata (mère de Rahula).
  11. ^ AN 1. 14. 5. 11 states: "Etadaggaṃ bhikkhave mama sāvikānaṃ bhikkhunīnaṃ mahābhiññappattānaṃ yadidaṃ bhaddakaccānā" (SLTP). Bv, PTS p. 65, v. 15 states: "Cattārīsa sahassāni nāriyo samalaṅkatā / Bhaddakaccānā2 nāma nārī rāhulo nāma atrajo" (SLTP).
  • The Buddha and His Teaching, Nārada, Buddhist Missionary Society, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1988, ISBN 967-9920-44-5

Literature

External links

Abhidharmadīpa

The Abhidharmadīpa or Lamp of Abhidharma is an Abhidharma text thought to have been authored by Vasumitra as a response to Vasubandhu's Abhidharmakośakārikā.

The text consists of verse and prose commentary. It currently survives as an incomplete collection of Sanskrit fragments. However, the text is valuable insofar as it confirms the identity of Vasubandhu as author of the Abhidharmakośakārikā.

Ajahn

Ajahn (Thai: อาจารย์, RTGS: achan, IPA: [ʔāː.tɕāːn], also romanized ajaan, aajaan, ajarn, ajahn, acharn and achaan) is a Thai language term which translates as "professor" or "teacher." It is derived from the Pali word ācariya, and is a term of respect, similar in meaning to the Japanese sensei, and is used as a title of address for high-school and university teachers, and for Buddhist monks who have passed ten vassa. The term "ajahn" is customarily used to address forest tradition monks and the term Luang Por, "Venerable father" is customarily used to address city tradition monks in Thai Buddhism.

Asita

Asita or Kaladevala or Kanhasiri was a hermit ascetic of ancient India in the 6th century BCE. He is best known for having predicted that prince Siddhartha of Kapilavastu would either become a great chakravartin or become a supreme religious leader; Siddhartha was later known as Gautama Buddha.He lived in the forest in the Shakya country. The name Asita literally means 'not clinging' while Kanhasiri means 'dark splendour'. Asita is described as wearing matted hair.

Assaji

Assaji (Pali: Assaji, Sanskrit: Aśvajit) was one of the first five arahants of Gautama Buddha. He is known for his conversion of Sariputta and Mahamoggallana, the Buddha's two chief male disciples, counterparts to the nuns Khema and Uppalavanna, the chief female disciples. He lived in what is now Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in northern India, during the 6th century BCE.

Buddhism in Venezuela

Buddhism in Venezuela is practiced by over 52,000 people (roughly 0.2% of the population). The Buddhist community is made up mainly of Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans.

Most identify with the Mahayana tradition, reflecting the religious heritage of their emigrant countries.

However, in the mid-1990s Keun-Tshen Goba (né Ezequiel Hernandez Urdaneta), together with Jigme Rinzen, founded a meditation center using the Shambhala Training method.

There are Buddhist centers in Caracas, Maracay, Mérida, Puerto Ordáz, San Felipe, and Valencia.

Buddhism in the Maldives

Buddhism in the Maldives was the predominant religion at least until the 12th century CE. It is not clear how Buddhism was introduced into the islands.

Dharma talk

A Dharma talk (Sanskrit) or Dhamma talk (Pali) or Dharma sermon (Japanese: 法語 (ほうご, Hōgo), Chinese: 法語) is a public discourse on Buddhism by a Buddhist teacher.In some Zen traditions a Dharma talk may be referred to as a teisho (提唱). However, according to Taizan Maezumi and Bernard Glassman, a teisho is "a formal commentary by a Zen master on a koan or Zen text. In its strictest sense, teisho is non-dualistic and is thus distinguished from a Dharma talk, which is a lecture on a Buddhist topic." In this sense, a teisho is thus a formal Dharma talk. Vietnamese master Thich Nhat Hanh says the following about Dharma talks:

A Dharma talk must always be appropriate in two ways: it must accord perfectly with the spirit of the Dharma and it must also respond perfectly to the situation in which it is given. If it only corresponds perfectly with the teachings but does not meet the needs of the listeners, it's not a good Dharma talk; it's not appropriate.

Family of Gautama Buddha

The Buddha was born into a noble family of the kshatriya varna in Kapilvastu district of Lumbini zone, Nepal in 563 BCE.. He was called Siddhartha Gautama in his childhood. His father was king Suddhodana, leader of the Shakya clan in what was the growing state of Kosala, and his mother was queen Maya Devi. According to Buddhist legend, the baby exhibited the marks of a great man. A prophecy indicated that if the child stayed at home he was destined to become a world ruler. If the child left home, however, he would become a universal spiritual leader. To make sure the boy would be a great king and world ruler, his father isolated him in his palace and he was raised by his mother's younger sister, Maha Pajapati, after his mother died just seven days after childbirth.

Separated from the world, he later married Yashodhara (Yaśodhara was the daughter of King Suppabuddha and Amita), and together they had one child, a son, Rāhula. Both Yashodhara and Rāhula later became disciples of Buddha.

Great Renunciation

The Great Renunciation or Great Departure is the traditional term for the departure of Gautama Buddha from his palace at Kapilavastu to live a life as an ascetic (Sanskrit: śrāmaṇa, Pali: sāmaṇa). It is called the Great Renunciation because of the great sacrifice it entails. Most accounts of this event can be found in post-canonical Buddhist texts from several Buddhist traditions, which contain the most complete accounts. These are, however, of a more mythological nature. Most well-known of these is the Jātakanidāna, a commentary to the Jātaka attributed to Buddhaghosa.

According to these accounts, at the birth of Prince Siddhārtha Gautama, the Buddha-to-be, brahmin priests predict that he will either become a world teacher or a world ruler. To prevent his son from turning to religious life, Prince Siddhārtha's father and rāja of the Śākya clan Śuddhodana does not allow him to see death or suffering, and distracts him with luxury. But the prince continues to ponder about religious questions, and when he is 29 years old, he see four signs for the first time in his life: an old man, a sick person, a corpse and an ascetic. Moved by all the things he has experienced, the prince decides to leave the palace behind in the middle of the night against the will of his father, to live the life of an wandering ascetic, leaving behind his son Rāhula and wife Yaśodharā.

The story of Siddhārtha's renunciation illustrates the conflict between lay duties and religious life, and shows how even the most pleasurable lives are still filled with suffering. The Great Renunciation has been depicted much in Buddhist art, and has influenced ordination rituals in several Buddhist communities. A modified version of the story can be found in the legend of the Christian apostles Barlaam and Josaphat, which was based on the Buddhist legend.

Koliya

The Koliyas were Kshatriya of the Adicca (Iksvaku) clan of the Solar Dynasty from the Indian subcontinent, during the time of Gautama Buddha.The family members of the two royal families, that is the Koliyas and Sakyas married only among themselves. Both clans were very proud of the purity of their royal blood and had practised this tradition of inter-marriage since ancient times. For example, Suddhodana's paternal aunt was married to the Koliyan ruler Añjana. Their daughters, Mahamaya and Mahapajapati Gotami, were married to Śuddhodana, the chief of the Sakyans. Similarly, Yashodhara, daughter of Suppabuddha, who was Añjana’s son, was married to the Sakyan prince, Gautama Buddha. Thus, the two royal families were related by marriage bonds between maternal and paternal cousins since ancient times. In spite of such close blood-ties, there would be occasional rifts between the two royal families, which sometimes turned into open hostility.

Kuri (kitchen)

A kuri (庫裏, lit. warehouse behind) or kuin (庫院, lit. warehouse hall) is the kitchen of a Zen monastery, typically located behind the butsuden (or, Buddha Hall). Historically the kuri was a kitchen which prepared meals only for the abbot and his guests, though in modern Japan it now functions as the kitchen and administrative office for the entire monastery.

List of Buddhas

This is a list of historical, contemporary, and legendary figures which at least one school of Buddhism considers to be a Buddha and which have an article on Wikipedia:

Acala

Adi-Buddha

Akshobhya

Amitābha, principal Buddha of Pure Land Buddhism

Amoghasiddhi

Bhaisajyaguru

Budai

Dīpankara Buddha

Five Tathagatas

Gautama Buddha

Kakusandha

Kassapa Buddha

Koṇāgamana Buddha

Lokesvararaja

Nairatmya

Nichiren Daishonin, Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law (Nikko Lineage)

Padumuttara Buddha

Padmasambhava

Ratnasambhava

Satyanama

Sumedha Buddha

Tara

Tonpa Shenrab

Vairocana, embodiment of the Dharmakaya

Vajradhara

Vajrayogini

Yeshe Tsogyal

List of suttas

Suttas from the Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon.

List of Digha Nikaya suttas

List of Majjhima Nikaya suttas

List of Samyutta Nikaya suttas

List of Anguttara Nikaya suttas

List of Khuddaka Nikaya suttas

Rinpoche

Rinpoche, also spelled Rimboche and Rinboku (Tibetan: རིན་པོ་ཆེ་, Wylie: rin po che, THL: Rinpoché, ZYPY: Rinboqê), is an honorific term used in the Tibetan language. It literally means "precious one", and may be used to refer to a person, place, or thing--like the words "gem" or "jewel" (Sanskrit Ratna).

The word consists of rin(value) and po(nominative suffix) and chen(big).

The word is used in the context of Tibetan Buddhism as a way of showing respect when addressing those recognized as reincarnated, older, respected, notable, learned and/or an accomplished Lamas or teachers of the Dharma. It is also used as an honorific for abbots of monasteries.

Rāhula

Rāhula (Pāli and Sanskrit) was the only son of Siddhārtha Gautama (commonly known as the Buddha) (c. 563 or 480 – 483 or 400 BCE), and his wife and princess Yaśodharā. He is mentioned in numerous Buddhist texts, from the early period onward. Accounts about Rāhula indicate a mutual impact between Prince Siddhārtha's life and the lives of his family members. According to the Pāli tradition, Rāhula is born on the day of Prince Siddhārta's renunciation, and is therefore named Rāhula, meaning a fetter on the path to enlightenment. According to the Mūlasarvāstivāda tradition, and numerous other later sources, however, Rāhula is only conceived on the day of Prince Siddhartha's renunciation, and is born six years later, when Prince Siddhārtha becomes enlightened as the Buddha. This long gestation period is explained by bad karma from previous lives of both Yaśodharā and of Rāhula himself, although more naturalistic reasons are also given. As a result of the late birth, Yaśodharā needs to prove that Rāhula is really Prince Siddhārtha's son, which she eventually does successfully by an act of truth. Historian Wolfgang Schumann has argued that Prince Siddhārtha conceived Rāhula and waited for his birth, to be able to leave the palace with the king and queen's permission, but Orientalist Noël Péri considered it more likely that Rāhula was born after Prince Siddhārtha left his palace.

Between seven and fifteen years after Rāhula is born, the Buddha returns to his hometown, where Yaśodharā has Rāhula ask the Buddha for the throne of the Śākya clan. The Buddha responds by having Rāhula ordain as the first Buddhist novice monk. He teaches the young novice about truth, self-reflection, and not-self, eventually leading to Rāhula's enlightenment. Although early accounts state that Rāhula dies before the Buddha does, later tradition has it that Rāhula is one of the disciples that outlives the Buddha, guarding the Buddha's Dispensation until the rising of the next Buddha. Rāhula is known in Buddhist texts for his eagerness for learning, and was honored by novice monks and nuns throughout Buddhist history. His accounts have led to a perspective in Buddhism of seeing children as hindrances to the spiritual life on the one hand, and as people with potential for enlightenment on the other hand.

Threefold Training

The Buddha identified the threefold training (sikkhā) as training in:

higher virtue (adhisīla-sikkhā)

higher mind (adhicitta-sikkhā)

higher wisdom (adhipaññā-sikkhā)

Uppalavanna

Uppalavannā (Chinese: 蓮華色比丘尼 or 優缽華色比丘尼) was considered to be one of the two chief female disciples of the Buddha, the other being Khema.

She was the daughter of a wealthy merchant and was known for her great beauty. Her name means "one with the hue of the blue lotus".

Ṛddhi

In Buddhism, rddhi powers (Sanskrit; Pali: iddhi) are "psychic powers", one of the five or six supernormal powers (abhijñā) of the mundane plane attained by performing the four dhyānas. The normal Sanskrit meaning of ṛddhi is "increase, growth, prosperity, success, good fortune, wealth, abundance".

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