26 September 2022

#69. Udāyin

2 min read

Cave No. 17

Identification: Schlingloff 2013. It is an episode from the life of the Buddha.

Udāyin, the son of the court priest at Kapilavastu that was the kingdom of King Śuddhodana, was called Kālodāyin as he was dark-complexioned. Śuddhodana had close ties with Prasenajit, the king of Śrāvastī. Udāyin would carry Śuddhodana’s messages to Prasenajit and the latter conveyed his missives through a minister’s son, Guptā. In due course, Udāyin became a great friend of Guptā and stayed at his palace whenever he was in Sravasti. By and by, Udāyin fell in love with Guptā, his friend’s beautiful wife. After Guptā’s sudden death, and with no heir in the scene, Prasenajit prepared to seize the widow’s assets. In this distressful hour, Guptā turned to Udāyin for help. Udāyin, made a deal with the king, became the administrator of Guptā’s assets, and settled down to domestic bliss with his beloved. One day, King Śuddhodana wanted to invite the Buddha to visit Kapilavastu and sent Udāyin as a messenger. Udāyin left Guptā’s home, but became a monk after meeting the Buddha. Guptā plunged into grief, but later accepted her destiny. Finally, she too left her home in order to join the Buddha’s order of the nuns.

—Source: Singh 2019, 31-33; Schlingloff 2013, I, 399

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