Stories from Buddhism: A Matavgi Girl

Guo Zheng

PureInsight | July 9, 2006

[] Among the
Buddha's disciples, Ananda was the most handsome one. His countenance
was as solemn as the full moon and his eyes were like pure lotus
flowers. Moreover, he was very intelligent. The Buddha gave many
different teachings. Ananda needed to hear the Buddha's teaching only
once and would never forget any of it.


One day after Ananda had begged for alms in a village, on his way back
home, he saw a young girl who was drinking water beside a well on the
roadside. Ananda felt thirsty, so he walked there and asked the girl to
give him a bowl of clean water.


The girl was from the lowly Matavgi caste. When Ananda asked her for
water, she dared not give water to Ananda. She said, "Honored sir, I am
not qualified to pass water to a monk from the royal family like you
because of my humble status. If I did that, it would lower your
status." Ananda said genuinely, "Please do not regard me this way. I am
a monk, so in my view, everyone is equal and there is no difference
between the noble and the humble. I really feel thirsty. Please give me
some water."

The Matavgi girl felt delighted after hearing Ananda's kind words. She
held a bowl of water in both hands respectfully and gave it to Ananda.
Ananda did not look down on her at all and expressed appreciation to
her by nodding to her politely. The girl felt so moved. When she looked
at handsome Ananda again, she felt she was falling in love with him.
Her eyes followed Anada as he w as leaving. She felt a little lost
after he was gone.


From then on,  the girl became immersed in her longing for Ananda.
Her face became emaciated. Her mother saw her laden with anxiety but
not speaking about anything every day, so she asked her about the
reason. The Matavgi girl knew that she could not hide her worry from
her mother, so she told her that several days ago, when she was
drinking water by a well, she encountered a monk called Ananda. Even
though she only saw him once, she was attracted by him greatly. She
could never forget him and was thinking about him with her whole body
and mind. She did not know how to deal with it.


Her mother said, "There are two kinds of people in the world who you
can never obtain: one is the dead; the other is those who have got rid
of all their lust and desires. I hear that the Buddha is a great and
sacred man. His disciples have all let go of their desires. Even though
you are crazy about him, I have no idea how to help you."


The Matavgi girl lowered her head and said, "One has to make efforts if
he wants to accomplish anything in this world. If I can't have Ananda,
I can not survive. I would like to try my best to acquire his love."

Out of her affections towards her daughter, her mother did not want her
to be too sad, so she thought of an idea to help her. She told the girl
to learn a kind of special incantation. This incantation might make
Ananda lose his wisdom. If Ananda were not clear of mind, she would
obtain the chance to get hold of him.


Therefore, the Matavgi girl started her attempts to captivate Ananda.
She dressed herself up, recited the incantation in her heart and waited
for Ananda near his living place every day.


When Ananda walked out his living place and saw the Matavgi girl, he
immediately recognized her. When the girl greeted Ananda politely, he
was already aware that the girl was attempting to use her beauty to
captivate him. Ananda then made himself grow more wisdom immediately
and meanwhile,  he felt that he was surrounded by the Buddha's
sacred shine. He turned  around at once and walked back to his
living place. The Matavgi girl wanted to use the incantation to
interfere with Ananda. But when the evil got close to Ananda, the
Buddha used his own light to protect Ananda from being pestered by the


The next day was April 25 when the Buddha requested his disciples to
start staying in their living place and not to go out for the next
three months. The Matavgi girl had to wait until July 15  with
extreme anxiety. When Ananda walked out his living place again three
months later, the girl was kneeling and imploring him, saying, "Ananda,
without you, neither the sun and nor the moon shine any more to me.
Without you, my life will completely lose meaning. I would like to give
you all my heart." Ananda saw the girl was so sentimental and said
compassionately, "Please stand up and follow  me. Let us go to see
the Buddha. He will help us."


 The Matavgi girl thought that Ananda had changed his mind, so she followed him

 delightedly and went to see the Buddha.


"Do you want to marry Ananda?" The Buddha asked. When the Buddha saw
Ananda leading a girl toward him, before she spoke the Buddha already
knew her thoughts. The girl lowered her head and answered with her
hands in front of her chest, "Yes!"


 The Buddha said, "Ananda is a monk. You should first be a nun and
cultivate yourself diligently. When you cultivate yourself well and can
be compared with Ananda, I will hold a wedding for you."


 The Matavgi girl only wanted to be Ananda's wife. At that moment,
she  would agree to anything as long as she could have him
eventually.  She shaved off her hair delightedly. Then she
listened to the Buddha's teachings earnestly and conformed to the
Buddha's teachings diligently. She cultivated herself and lived
together with other nuns.


The Matavgi girl's mind became calmer and calmer as she was practicing
cultivation. Along with her deeper understanding of cultivation and the
Buddha Fa, she started to re-examine her attachment to love and lust.
The Buddha often said that there are five desires which are filthy and
are the origins of all human bitterness. Human beings who pursue the
five desires are like a moth darting into a flame and a silkworm who
gets enmeshed in a web of its own spinning. Only one lets go of any
desire, could one obtain inner serenity and purity.


 The girl felt regretful for her lack of benevolence and her
filthy thoughts. She felt remorseful that she was infatuated with
Ananda. One day, she knelt in front of the Buddha and cried, "Great
Buddha, I have awakened completely from being muddle-headed. I have
understood the fruition that I have cultivated and validated. I feel
grateful to you for saving the deluded beings like me painstakingly.
Please accept my remorse. I would like to follow the Buddha's teachings
all my life and let go of all my desires. I will cultivate myself,
enlighten other people and become a genuine nun"


The Buddha smiled and answered her, "Fine. I knew that you would gain
this understanding. Your inborn quality is quite good. Cultivate
yourself more diligently."


Dear readers, could this story not cause you to think things over more deeply?

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