Yasodharā, the Wife of the Bōdhisattva

The Sinhala Yasodharāvata (The Story of Yasodharā) and the Sinhala Yasodharāpadānaya (The Sacred Biography of Yasodharā)

eISBN-13: 9781438428376

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What about Buddha's wife? We all know that Prince Siddhartha left his wife and infant son to begin his journey to enlightenment. The Pali canon does not mention the woman he left behind. Yasodharā enters the commentarial tradition around the first century CE and lives on in the folk tradition, growing from a shadowy figure to a nun and arahat (an Enlightened One), even gaining magical powers. In this book, Ranjini Obeyesekere offers a translation of two works from Sri Lanka on this intriguing figure. The Yasodharāvata (The Story of Yasodharā) is a folk poem, whose best-known verses are Yasodharā's lament over the departure of her husband. The Yasodharāpadānaya (The Sacred Biography of Yasodharā) is an account of Yasodharā as a nun capable of miracles, who has traveled through saṃsāra with the Bodhisattva, and who is praised by him. Obeyesekere places these works within their historical and literary context and provides a glossary of Buddhist terms.

ISBNs 1438428375, 9781438428376, 9781438428284
Language English