Buddhist Tales : Amrapali

Lord Buddha attached more importance to the emancipation of the masses than to the salvation of the individual. His concern for the masses manifested itself in the establishment of the Sangha, which could be described as an association of seekers. Amrapali and Vasavadatta were two women disciples of Lord Buddha who gave up their life of pleasure and took to ascetism. At first, the women were not admitted to this order by Lord Buddha, but when Ananda, his favourite disciple pleaded on their behalf, he relented.

The story of Amrapali is told in the 'Maha-Parinibbana Sutta' and in 'Malasarvastivadas'. The garden which Amprapali gave up to Lord Buddha still existed when Fa-Hien visited India during the Gupta age. Upagupta was a disciple of Buddha. For him, ahimsa (non-violence) did not merely mean desisting from violence but also doing positive good and showing compassion. When Vasavadatta was shunned by society and had nowhere to go, Upagupta took her to his hermitage. While adapting this story for our Amar Chitra Katha, we have omitted a few gruesome details.

Script :Subba Rao
Illustrator :H.S. Chavan and Ranjana
ISBN : 81-7508-083-3

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