Saturday, April 24, 2010

Seven Co-natals (Sahajata) of Siddhattha Gotama (1)

Siddhattha Gotama was the son of King Suddhodana and Queen Mahamaya. When he was born, seven other co-natals including human, animal and things appeared at the same time. The seven co-natals (sahajata) of Siddhattha Gotama were: (1) Yasodhara (2) Ananda (3) Kaludayi (4) Channa (5) Kanthaka horse (6) the Bodhi tree and (7) Four golden treasure pots.
Yasodhara was the daughter of King Suppabuddha, the ruler of Devadaha. Her brother was Devadatta. She was the most beautiful princess in her time. Siddhattha Gotama was her cousin. They got married when they were sixteen. They fully enjoyed a luxurious life together for thirteen years. At their age of twenty nine, Siddhattha Gotama left Yasodhara and a newly born son Rahula to attain enlightenment.
When she heard that Siddhattha Gotama was living in the forest as an ascetic, she discarded all the luxuries and stayed simple. Simultaneously, she ate only one meal a day and used a low bed to sleep on.

After enlightenment, Buddha went to see her on his first visit to Kapilavatthu. Though she was deeply sad, she finally controlled herself.

Later, Yasodhara became a nun. She then attained arahatship. Yasodhara Theri possessed supernormal powers and could recall infinite eras of the past. She expired at the age of seventy eight before the Buddha.


Ananda was the son of Amitodana, the uncle of Siddhattha Gotama. He was named 'Ananda', which means 'bliss', for his birth brought much happiness to his family.

When he was thirty seven, he became a monk. He attained Sotapanna after hearing the Dhamma preached by Venerable Punna Mantaniputta.

Ananda was born as Sumana at the time of Padumuttara Buddha. He offered the necessities to the Buddha and his monks during the three months of the rainy season. He then aspired to be a personal attendant of future Buddha. For 100,000 world cycles, he performed meritorious deeds to achieve his aspiration.

Later at Gotama Buddha's period, Venerable Ananda was chosen as a personal attendant of the Buddha. He was fifty five then. He was also an executive assistant to the Buddha. He assisted the Buddha in managing monks, nuns and devotees.

Being close to the Buddha, Ananda was the one who got the most chances to hear the Buddha's discourses. For his retentive memory, Buddha declared Venerable Ananda as the Guardian of Dhamma. Also, he was said to be supreme in good conduct, learning, steadfastness and in service to others.

Venerable Ananda initiated two important events. First was the formation of the order of nuns and the other was the planting of Bodhi tree for devotees to pay homage in place of the Buddha while he was away. 

Though he stayed near the Buddha and heard most of the preachings, Venerable Ananda did not attain the rest of the fruitions rather than Sotapanna. Only after Buddha's Parinibbana, he reached arahathood with great effort. And thus, he was able to attend the First Samgha Council in which only arahats were allowed to present. Venerable Ananda lived long till the age of one twenty.

Posted by Aye Sat

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