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The Wife of Buddha: Yasodhara: Kuwasan Ann Glasmann

Kuwasan Ann Glasmann, my Dharma Sister, member of the Silent Thunder Board of Directors and contributor to the Falmouth Soto Zen Sangha’s Project On Women Ancestors (POWA) will speak to us (Via Zoom) Tuesday night, April 26, 2022 at 7:00 PM/EDT at the Falmouth Soto Zen Sangha, 68 Main Street, Falmouth, MA 02540, at The First Congregational Church in the Church Parlor.

You may also join us via Zoom ( password: FSZS. Her topic will be the life of Yasodhara, wife of Shiddhartha Gotama and our Buddhist ancestor of study, for the month of April.

Kuwasan writes:

Yaśodharā was the daughter of King Suppabuddha and Amita, sister of Buddha’s father King Śuddhodana. She was born on the same day as Śākyamuni Buddha. Despite the knowledge of Atiśha’s prophecy, that Śākyamuni would one day leave to pursue the spiritual path, Yaśodharā chose to marry Śākyamuni at the age of 16.

Yaśodharā is portrayed as a literate and assertive woman, qualities that were rare for women of her time. Yaśodharā gave birth to a son, Rāhula. During the years after Śākyamuni left the palace to pursue the path of enlightenment, Yaśodharā began an inward journey within the confines of the palace. Fulfilling her spiritual destiny, she entered the order of nuns at the same time as Mahāpajāpatī Gotomī, along with her son, Rāhula. She became one of Buddha’s great 13 Bhikkuni disciples.

Yaśodharā appears in the Jakata Tales http://xn--jtaka%20tales-wqb/ more often than any other female figure. Known for her recollection of infinite eras of the past, she also came to foretell the hour of her own death. “One night she came to the Buddha and said, ‘Tonight I am going to die.’ She came to thank him for showing her the path. She told the man who was once her husband and had become her teacher, ‘I am my own refuge.’ Then she proceeded her husband into the deathless realm.”

Meaning of Name: Yaśodharā (Sanskrit) Bearer of Glory [from yaśas “glory, splendor” +dhara “bearing” from the verbal root dhri “to bear, support”]

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108 Bows,

Sangaku Dan Joslyn

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