Written by London Swaminathan

Post No.7677

Date uploaded in London – 10 March 2020

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge; this is a non- commercial blog. Thanks for your great pictures.

The Emperor of mighty Maghada, modern Bihar and the surrounding states, was Bimbisara . His consort was Queen Kshema. Both of them were contemporaries of the Buddha. They lived 2600 years ago and left a mark in the history of India.

Queen Kshema was a great beauty. She looked like a golden statue. She was a proud peacock. Always boasting about her beautiful look. She was born in the royal family of Madraas. when she got married to Bimbisara she lived with him in the capital city of Rajagriha . Bimbisara was a disciple of Gautama Buddha. So he donated the royal garden Velu Vana to Buddhist Sanga/ Association. Buddha came to the royal garden. Bimbisara wanted his Queen to go and pay respects to Buddha. But she said ‘No’. The reason was that she was scared to see Buddha who would easily find her fascination with beauty and beauty products.

Bimbisara knew the Great Master would not mind such a thing. So he devised a novel plan to send her to Velu vana. He asked her close associates to sing the glory and beauty of royal garden so as to persuade her to visit it. As expected her curiosity was roused. The plan had its desired effect. She wanted to see the royal garden. Bimbisara arraigned her a golden chariot. The ministers and her associates were secretly instructed to take her to Buddha and make her pay respects.

She went to the garden with a big retinue and enjoyed every bit of nature there. It was nearing sunset. Ministers hinted to her that she may just see Buddha on her way back to the palace. She said ‘No’.

Now the ministers were afraid to face the king without her seeing the Buddha. So they forcefully drove the chariot near Buddha. There was the most beautiful woman fanning Buddha . Queen looked at her golden skin and looked at the lady near the great Buddha. She was astonished and then felt ashamed of her beauty and thought that she can’t even go near her. While she was thinking like this, the most beautiful woman on the stage slowly became a middle aged woman. A short while after that she became an old lady and fell down with a great noise. No body moved. Every body was so involved and immersed in the discourse of the Master. He was reciting the Dhammapada sloka 347.

“Those who are given to attachment fall into the stream of repeated existences, life and death cycle, like the spider caught in the net created by itself. One who has no attachment gets rid of his/ her sufferings and goes out by tearing asunder the net”

—-Dhammapada 347

On listening to this utterance, the Queen decided to follow Buddha. On her return to the palace she decided to take ordination at once. King Bimbisara asked her if she had seen the Master. In reply she said that what the king had seen of the Master was negligible; it was the real Teacher she had visualised. She wondered how come Bimbisara was running a government without renunciation until that day. She then asked for his permission to become a bikshuni/ a monk. The king gave his permission with his whole heart and sent her to the nunnery in a golden palanquin.

Bihar was the land of Janaka and Sita, of Maitreyi and Gargi. Thousands of years before Queen Kshema, they excelled in Hindu philosophy. No wonder that Kshema became a monk overnight.

Kshema became a Their (saint) and in the stanzas attributed to her in the Theri gatha, Kshema relates that a young man of excellent appearance wanted to entice her worldly enjoyment, but she spurned his proposal saying that what were pleasures to him pierced her like a sharp dart.

On one occasion, when she was staying in the hermitage near the city of Sharavasti, King Presenajit was looking for a Guru. He was apprised of the presence of Bikshuni Kshema. He came to her and had intellectual and philosophical discussions with her. The king was greatly impressed by her vast knowledge.

Dhamma patha was the Veda of Buddhists. It contains Buddha’s teachings. Dhamma is Dharma in Sanskrit.

tags – Queen Kshema, King Bimbisara, Buddha, Miracle,


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