In the time of Buddha, there lived a wealthy councilor in a suburb of city Saketa. The councilor was living an unhappy life. The cause of his sufferings was a hostile Yakkha who had devoured all his children. As people say, the bad days are also not permanent. The bad days of the councilor ended when he was blessed with a son. The demon had also meanwhile decided to settle on Vessavana. The child grew up under the utmost protection and his naming day arrived. The priest was invited to suggest an apt name for the child. After thinking a…


On one occasion, Buddha was dwelling at Anjanavana in Saketa. Knowing the arrival of the Enlightened, the residents of Saketa thronged to Anjanavana for seeking His blessings. The knowledge-seekers also turned to Anjanavana to calibrate their thought process. How could have been Kundaliya, a wanderer from Saketa left behind? Time had finally come for him also to make peace with his troubling existential questions. He decided to pay a visit to Buddha and reached Anjanavana. After exchanging greetings and brief cordial talk, Kundaliya sat down to one side waiting patiently for his turn. The stars were in place, and opportunity…


Once Buddha was staying in the Anjanavana of Saketa. The residents of Saketa thronged to Anjanavana for seeking His blessings. Among many visitors to Buddha, there came a seeker from an aristocratic family. People had called him Mendasira as his head resembled that of ram. Mendasira entered the Order after listening to Buddha preach. He practiced calm composure (samatha) and spiritual insight (vipassana) and acquired sixfold abhinna (higher knowledge). He thus could recall his former births. In the time of Vipassi Buddha, he lived near Mount Gotama in Himava with a large following of ascetics. There they met the Buddha…


The holy city of Ayodhya is a place of prime importance for the Vaishnavite sect of Hindus. It is associated with four incarnations of Lord Vishnu, namely, the Fish (Matsyavatara), Parashurama, Rama, and Buddha. The first incarnation of Vishnu in the Fish form happened at Vasudeo Ghat of Ayodhya. As per belief, it is the place where Vaivaswata Manu arrived after ‘The Great Flood’ and founded the city Ayodhya on Kartik Shukla Navami. The bathing rituals were performed here until the 1960s. Afterward, the river shifted towards northwards, leaving the ghat without water. The highway and railways project have further…


Once upon a time, Buddha was residing in Anjanavana of Saketa. Kakudha, a Manomaya dev (mind-born) visited Him. Kakudha had attained Nibbana destructing five lower fetters. Having died in a Jnana-trance, he was reborn among the Manomaya devas. Kakudha was troubled with a thought if one can take delight in Nibbana. And if not, what purpose it serves to attain Nibbana. Samyutta Nikaya narrates his visit to the Enlightened in Anjanavana.

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Saketa in the deer park at Anjanavana. When the night was far spent, the glorious god Kakudha…


During the time of Buddha, King Pasenadi was the ruler of Kosal mahajanpada. He had a treasurer named Migara. When Migara’s son Punnavaddhana attained the age of marriage, many marriage proposals were received. However, Punnavaddhana said no to all of them. At last Migara asked his son if he had a girl in his mind? Punnavaddhan replied that he would agree for marriage only if the girl possessed the Five Beauties.

Migara deputed eight Brahmins to search for a girl with the Five Beauties. After searching for a long time, the Brahmins met Vishakha, daughter of Dhananjaya the richest merchant…


Conversion of Jains

Once upon a time when Buddha was residing in the Jetavana monastery, Anathapindika paid a visit to Him. Anathapindika was a chief lay disciple of Buddha, and he used to seek the guidance from Buddha on important personal matters. What brought him today to Buddha was his promise to his best friend Kalaka.

Anathapindika and Kalaka had studied together at gurukul. When they completed their education and time came to part, they decided to turn their bond of friendship into bond of family. They promised, “When we would get married, the daughter will become daughter in law.”

With the passage…


How Love Begins

Once upon a time, Buddha set out for Saketa after rains-retreat. While Buddha was entering into the town, a wealthy Brahmin of Saketa saw Him near the town’s gate. The sight of Buddha filled the Brahmin’s heart with intense filial love. He immediately alighted from the chariot and ran towards Buddha. As Brahmin was coming closer, Buddha told the Brethren, “Bhikkhus, let Brahmin Saketa alone: let him do as he pleases”.

With tears of joy in his eyes, Brahmin uttered, “O my son, I have not seen you for such a long time”. He then embraced Buddha and said, “Is…


The ‘unconquerable’ Ayodhya is not immune to the politics of renaming. This earliest walled city is dated 8000 years old as per genealogical records, and 3000 years old as per excavation. The Hinduism, Buddhism & Jainism were nurtured here. Their religious scriptures have recorded Ayodhya by different names over the millenniums. The latest renaming needs to be seen as a continuation of its naming history.

Ayodhya finds no explicit references in Rikved. The city would have been known as ‘Saryu’ in Vaidik times, claims Dr. Mohan Chandra Tiwari in his book “Ashtachakra Ayodhya: Itihaas aur Parampara.” He quotes Rikvaidik sukts…


Return to Ramayana

We celebrate Dussehra on Ashvin ShuklaDashami to commemorate the victory of Rama over Ravana on this day. Similarly, Diwali is celebrated on Kartik Amavasya to commemorate the return of Rama to Ayodhya after the exile. However, Valmiki Ramayana differs on these dates.

Aranya (3.16.1) of Ramayana informs about the abduction of Sita in Hemanta. As Ravan gave Sita a year to decide (3.56.24), Sita had to be rescued before next Hemant. Searching Sita, Rama reached Kiskindha in Grishma, killed Vali and crowned Sugriva. …

Amarnath Dube

An Indian Civil Servant. Proud to be born in Ayodhya, the Jerusalem of Eastern Religions

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