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     Nanda


Nanda who was the step-brother of the Buddha; his mother was the younger sister of Maha Maya.

Once visiting Kapilavatthu he visited his half brotherís palace, who was getting married to the most well-mannered woman of the time, whose name was Janapada Kalyani Nanda. Upon visiting Nanda, Buddha asked him to carry his alms bowl to his vihara. So, Nanda left the palace and kept his future bride waiting.

In the vihara, Buddha encouraged Nanda to refuse the worldly life for the sake of unending enjoyment. Though he was encouraged by the words of the Buddha and accepted the rejection, yet his resolve was sick and half-hearted. Besides, he hang around for his pretty bride with strong sensual desires, which steadily broke his health. The Buddha read his mind and knew the solution.

One day, the Buddha asked him to go together with him to the Himalayas. On the way he showed him the burnt body of a female monkey. To observe the power of his brotherís sensual passions he then asked him whether his bride was prettier than the burnt body of the animal. Nanda answered positively.

Buddha then took him to the Tavatimsa, where Sakka and his nymphets completed every generosity to them. There, the Buddha again asked Nanda whether Janapada Kalyani Nanda was prettier than those nymphets. Nanda then answered negatively. The Buddha then promised him to get him any of those nymphets as his support if he would lead a ascetic life. Nanda in his excitement agreed. But when he reached the monastery where the eighty priests questioned his pledge for priest-hood, he felt ashamed. Soon he gathered up his courage and attempt for achievement of the arahatahood. And by and by he achieved his target.

He then came to the Buddha and forgive him of his Tavatimsa promise.

 

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