Cave No. 17

Identification: Yazdani (IV, 1955, p. 70 f.).

The legend is from the life of the Buddha.—Rāhula was born after the Buddha’s enlightenment. When the Buddha visited Kapilavastu, Rāhula was six years old and his mother wanted the Buddha to return to the worldly life. So, she made a dumpling with a sorceress’s help, which could enthral the one who ate it and bind him to one who offered it. She instructed her son to offer it to the Buddha. As Rāhula approached, the Buddha aware of the spell magically multiplied into 500 identical Buddhas. Rāhula identified his father among the apparitions and offered him the dumpling. The Buddha, aware of the spell, offered Rāhula the dumpling rather than have it himself. Rāhula, thus, could not be restrained from following his father and became a monk.

—Source: Singh 2019, 31-33; Schlingloff 2013, I, 402

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