Stories from Buddhism: Becoming a Nun

Guo Zheng

PureInsight | July 16, 2006

[PureInsight.Org] Among
disciples of Shakyamuni, there was a female disciple with great
supernormal abilities.  Her life before becoming a nun was quite
harsh.  It was like this:

A long time ago, in the city of Taxila, there was a respected old
man.  He had a beautiful daughter.  When the daughter was 16
years old, her parents married her to a handsome young man.  Life
was peaceful.  Shortly after the wedding, the daughter became
pregnant. But soon her father died. Her mother committed fornication
with her son-in-law.  When the daughter found out about it, she
became very sad.  She left the family after she gave birth to her

She soon married a businessman in order to have someone to support her.
One day the businessman came back from Taxila and brought with him a
concubine he had bought with a lot of money.  He hid the concubine
initially.  Later he brought the concubine home and said to his
wife,  "You can simply leave if you don't like this."

The wife learned that the concubine, who was less than 16 years old,
came from her hometown.  She then asked the girl who her parents
were. When she heard the names, she almost fainted away. The young girl
was her daughter!  Although she had left the girl long time ago,
she could still tell it was her daughter because the girl looked just
like how she had looked when she was 16. She was so sad that she asked
the heavens, "Why is my destiny so tragic!  Sharing the husband
with my mom?  Sharing the husband with my daughter?  Why?"

She was on the verge of collapse.  She really didn't want to live
anymore.  As she was looking for a way to end her life, she came
across monk Maudgalaputra (also called Mujianlian).  She asked
him, "I'm a person full of karma.  The world is too
horrible.  I must be stuck in karmic relationships and that is why
I've been living in mud.  Can you give me some advice?  Am I
left with no choice other than to die?"

Maudgalaputra consoled her, "Don't lose hope.  My teacher
Shakyamuni saves people from hardship.  His Dharma water can clean
the restlessness in your heart and save you to the pure land with no

When the woman came to Shakyamuni and asked to become a nun, Shakyamuni
accepted her and asked her to cultivate diligently.  Soon she
attained the Arhat fruit status and was known as the one with the most
supernormal abilities out of all the female disciples of Shakyamuni.

Her name was Lianhuase. She had a bitter life.  After she made up
her mind to cultivate, she  succeeded like Maudgalaputra.

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