Saturday, September 25, 2010

Parents of the Buddha [2]

Queen Maha Maya

Maha Maya was the older daughter of King Anjana of the Koliya tribe, who ruled Devadaha. As her name 'Maya' meaning 'charm', she was extremely beautiful. Also, she was very clever, talented and virtuous. She married King Suddhodana and became a chief queen, 'Mayadevi'. She lived happily in Kapilavatthu with King Suddhodana. But they haven't got any children for twenty years.

One night, she had a wonderful dream. In her dream, four devas carried her to the Lake Anotatta, located in the Himalayas. They bathed her and dressed her in deva's clothing, put perfumes and spread flowers on her. Soon, a white elephant carrying a white lotus blossom in its trunk appeared and cycled her for three times. It then entered her womb through her right side and disappeared.

The wise men in the palace interpreted the meaning of the dream. They said that the devas chose Queen Mayadevi to be the mother of the future Buddha.

Time had passed and she approached her due date. The king made arrangement for his queen to return her home town to give birth. It was their custom.

On the way, the queen and her large entourage rested in the 'Lumbini Park'. There, she gave birth to a baby prince, Siddharttha Gotama.

At the period of Vipassi Buddha, Maha Maya-to-be was the eldest daughter of King Banduma. She offered sandal wood powder to the Buddha. She also scattered them over the monastery. Then she prayed to be a mother of the future Buddha. Later in one of her past existences, she was the Bodhisatta Vesamsara's mother, Queen Phussati. Finally she became the mother of the Gotama Buddha.

Queen Mayadevi returned back to the palace with great joy. Unfortunately, she died after seven days.
The womb of the Buddha's mother should be regarded as a stupa. Therefore, no one was worthy to be impregnated in it. It was the matter of course that every Buddha's mothers have to die shortly after giving birth.

Queen Mayadevi was reborn as Santusita deva in Tavatimsa Devaloka. Her son, the Buddha, went up there and expounded the Abhidhamma Pitaka seven years after his enlightenment. Santusita deva became Sotappana at the end of the Dhamma. Then, attained the remaining fruitions step by step and finally achieved Nibbana.

Posted by Aye Sat

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