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Story of the Spiritual Journey of Janapada Kalyani
The Illustrated Jataka & Other Stories of the Buddha by C.B. Varma
|095 - The Spiritual Journey of Janapada Kalyani|
When all hopes of
Nanda’s return withered away, Janapada Kalyani gradually recovered from
her trauma. Further, in course of time, she felt that her entire life was
going to be a waste, and there was nothing very significant for her to
pursue, she, too, decided to join the Order. So, she renounced the worldly
life under the guidance of Pajapati joined the Order because by then the
Buddha had allowed the admission of the nuns in his Sangha.
Though she renounced
the world yet, her attachment to her body was intense. She still fostered
her pride for her physical beauty. Further, she never dared to listen to
the Buddha’s sermons, which highlighted the transience of all worldly
phenomena including the physical beauty. Besides, she never allowed the
thought that her surpassing beauty would fade one day.
Nonetheless, one day,
she visited the Buddha to hear his preaching along with other nuns of the
monastery. The Buddha had known her mind. So, he created the form of the
most gorgeous maiden, who stood fanning him before he started his
discourse that day.
When listening to the
discourse Janapada Kalyani was still quite conscious of her beauty and was
thinking about it. But when the sermon of the Buddha progressed, she saw
herself ageing fast and reaching the stage of extreme old age, with all
her skins wrinkled; hair turning grey; drooping of the firmness of her
breasts; and the sudden change in the people’s gaze, which was no longer
lustful. Further, passing through that stage she saw herself dead; and her
body decomposed to become a mass of filth. This demonstration made her
spiritually elevated and she became a Sotapanna. Laater, upon hearing the
Buddha’s Kayavicchandika Sutta (The discourse on the process of the
decomposition of the body) she attained arahatahood.
Janapada Kalyani (right)
See Samyutta Nikaya iv.341; Udana Commentary 170; Jataka 1.394; Majjhima Nikaya i.387; Dhammapada Atthakatha i.105; Theragatha Atthakatha i.318.
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