Amaradevi-Panha Jataka (#112)

temple painting of Amaradevi-Panha Jataka

The Bodhisatta was once a king’s advisor. The full account of this lifetime is told in the Maha-Ummagga Jataka (#546) while the Amaradevi-Panha Jataka only relates this single incident from that story.

When the Bodhisatta turned sixteen, he went out to find a wife. He saw a beautiful woman, named Amara, with all the marks of good luck walking down the road and when they saw each other, they both fell instantly in love. She answered all his questions with riddles, which he easily solved. Pleased that she was as smart as she was beautiful, the Bodhisatta said he wanted to visit her family’s home, and she told him where it was with the Secret Path riddle: “By way of cakes and gruel, and the double-leaf tree in flower, by the eating hand, not the not-eating hand, this is the secret path to my home.” The Bodhisatta walked past a cake shop, a rice gruel shop, and a blooming Mountain Ebony tree and then turned right and found her house.

In the Lifetime of the Buddha

One day some of the Buddha’s disciples were discussing his supreme wisdom. In particular, how he had humbled and converted a vast multitude of brahmins, ascetics, thieves, goblins, gods, and more. When the Buddha heard them talking about it, he told them this story so they knew he’d had perfect knowledge in the past too.

Amara was an earlier birth of the Buddha’s wife.

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