(Last Updated on : 26/09/2009)
The Hindu mythology affirms that Kshema is the beautiful queen of King Bimbisara.
Bimbisara had often urged her to meet the Buddha, she had always refused.
Knowing that she was attracted to beautiful things, the king arranged for poets to compose poems about the beauty of the Bamboo Grove where the Buddha was staying, and asked performers in the court sing these compositions.
Fascinated by the poems, she decided to go to the Bamboo Grove and see its beauty for herself. While admiring the scenery there, she caught sight of an especially beautiful maiden, standing beside the Buddha and fanning Him. Kshema observed that the maiden was more beautiful than she and, drawn to look closer, she moved nearer and nearer to the Buddha.
The beautiful maiden was just a vision created by the Buddha with His supernatural powers. While Kshema was gazing at it, the maiden was transformed into an old woman with broken teeth, grey hair and wrinkled skin. She appeared to grow weaker and weaker and finally collapsed and died. Kshema was startled. Kshema realised this fact of life. Lord Buddha said that the slaves are like spiders entangled in the webs they have made for themselves Those who are free and destroyed attachment to desire do not delight in the pleasures of the senses. Hearing these words, Kshema became an Arhat and with the king's consent, entered the Order of Nuns. Later, she became the chief woman disciple of the Buddha. Well known for her wisdom, she often helped Buddha in instructing the nuns.
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