Story of the Beautiful Woman Uppalavanna I Repentance is the Solution
Hi everyone, this is Nancy. Today is Dec. 11th, 2021. How are you doing. It’s been not an easy year with the pandemic still going on, the job situation, the increasing price of many necessities, extreme weathers, natural disasters, and so on. Unfortunately, all of these, are due to our personal and collective karma. As I mentioned before,
true freedom comes from upholding disciplines. Indulgence may bring short-lived happiness due to satisfaction of the sensual desires, but karma or bad consequence follow right after. The solution to all of these is to lower our head to the heaven and repent. Today I would like to share with you another famous story Buddhism. This story is about Lady Uppalavanna. Let’s see how Lady Uppalavanna was transformed by Maudgalyayana and repented her past unwholesome deeds.
One time, Maudgalyayana was going through a garden. A beautiful lady approached him with a flattering attitude. She nodded to Maudgalyayana and said, “Venerable Maudgalyayana, do you have time? Can I talk to you?” Maudgalyayana paid attention to this woman. He saw not only her face, but also the intention in her mind. Uppalavanna was a lady who sold beauty. She had a legendary life. Now she was persuaded by some vicious people and wanted to seduce Maudgalyayana and destroy his precept body.
Although Uppalavanna was not young any more, her beauty was still rare in the world. If it were another man, under her charm, he would have been tempted. But before Maudgalyayana, what she did was just in vain. Uppalavanna had not lost her conscience completely. She had unfortunate experience, which forced her to play with the world. Maudgalyayana saw the intention in her mind, and said to her, “Poor woman, your experience was already unfortunate. Why don’t you see your annoyances? You are attractively dressed, thinking that you are beautiful, but I see not only your body ugly and filthy, but also the evil intention in your mind. In your body, bones are connected, tendons and tendons are intertwined, the whole body is like a curved snake. Red blood and black blood flow inside. In your skin, sweat, tears, feces are excreted from the nine holes from time to time. You don’t understand that a person’s body is impure. You decorate your body and feel satisfied, obsessed with vain beauty. It’s like an old elephant stuck in the mud, sunk deeper and deeper.”
Uppalavanna felt ashamed by Maudgalyayana’s words. She shed tears with repentance and said, “Venerable, what you said is correct. I decorate this filthy body to confuse people. In fact, I hate my body, however, I am a person who has no other way. No matter what I do, I cannot make up what I have done in the past. I will be entangled in horrible cause and effect in the future.”
Maudgalyayana then comforted her and said, “Don’t give up. Regardless of your past, as long as you confess, nothing is incurable. When our clothes are dirty, we use water to wash them. When the body is dirty, we do the same. When our heart is dirty, Buddha Dharma can cleanse it. No matter how dirty a river is, when it flows into the ocean, the ocean cleans it. The Buddha’s teaching can cleanse the filthy hearts of people, so everyone can enlighten and be saved.”
Amitabha! This is today’s Dharma share. Repentance in is so important. Once the Buddha said that there are two kinds of people who are rare, those who never make mistakes and those who make mistakes and repent. Only through repentance, could all the problems,
either personal or collective, be solved from the root. Thank you everyone for being here. I will see you next time. Bye.