Rahulamata, Rāhulamātā: 2 definitions



Rahulamata means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Rahulamata in Theravada glossary
Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

The name, generally given in the texts, of Rahulas mother (E.g., Vin.i.82) and Gotamas wife.

She is also called Bhaddakacca,* and, in later texts, Yasodhara (BuA., p.245; Dvy.253), Bimbadevi (J.ii.392f.; DA.ii.422) and, probably, Bimbasundari (J.vi.478 (12)).

* E.g., Bu.xxvi.15; Mhv.ii.24 calls her Bhaddakaccana; but see Thomas, op. cit., 49; she is also called Subhaddaka, this being probably a variant of Bhaddakaccana.

The Northern texts seem to favour the name of Yasodhara, but they call her the daughter of Dandapani. (See also Rockhill, op. cit., where various other names are given as well). It is probable that the name of Gotamas wife was Bimba, and that Bhaddakacca, Subhaddaka, Yosadhari and the others, were descriptive epithets applied to her, which later became regarded as, additional names. It is also possible that in Gotamas court there was also a Yasodhara, daughter of Dandapani, and that there was a later confusion of names. The Commentarial explanation (E.g., AA.i.204), that she was called Bhaddakaccana because her body was the colour of burnished gold, is probably correct. To suggest (E.g., Thomas, op. cit., 49) that the name bears any reference to the Kaccanagotta seems to be wrong, because the Kaccana was a brahmin gotta and the Sakiyans were not brahmins.

Rahulamata was born on the same day as the Bodhisatta (J.i.54; BuA. 106, 228). She married him (Gotama) at the age of sixteen (the following account is taken chiefly from J.i.58ff), and was placed at the head of forty thousand women, given to Gotama by the Sakiyans, after he had proved his manly prowess to their satisfaction. Gotama left the household life on the day of the birth of his son Rahula (according to one account, referred to in the Jataka Commentary, i.62, Rahula was seven days old). It is said that just before he left home he took a last look at his wife from the door of her room, not daring to go nearer, lest he should awake her. When the Buddha paid his first visit to Kapilavatthu after the Enlightenment, and on the second day of that visit, he begged in the street for alms. This news spread, and Rahulamata looked out of her window to see if it were true. She saw the Buddha, and was so struck by the glory of his personality that she uttered eight verses in its praise. These verses have been handed down under the name of Narasihagatha; on that day, after the Buddha had finished his meal in the palace, which he took at the invitation of Suddhodana, all the ladies of the court, with the exception of Rahulamata, went to pay him obeisance. She refused to go, saying that if she had any virtue in her the Buddha would come to her. The Buddha went to her with his two chief Disciples and gave orders that she should be allowed to greet him as she wished. She fell at his feet,

context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Rahulamata in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Rāhulamātā (राहुलमाता) is the name of the wife of the Buddha according to Pāli sources mentioned in a footnote at the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XXVIII). The wife of the Buddha, mother of Rāhula, is called called in the Pāli sources Rāhulamātā, Bhaddakaccā (Bhaddakaccānā) (Buddhavaṃsa XXVI.15; Mahāvaṃsa II.24), Yasodharā (Buddhavaṃsa Comm., p. 245), Bimbādevī (Jātaka II, p. 392; Sumaṅgala II, p. 422) and Bimbāsundarī (Jātaka VI, p. 478). She was born on the same day as the Buddha (Jātaka I, p. 54) and married him at the age of sixteen (Jātaka I, p. 58).

Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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