Across the forested peaks where the hermits roam
And the birds sit contentedly on the vultured peak
Where the clouds play hide and seek with the sun
Covering the adjoined plains with the trees of teak.
Ambaplai the royal courtesan
Bathed in morning sunshine awakes and stretches
After the night of some perfumed pleasures
Her silken robes her maid now fetches.
A legend holds that Ambapali was abandoned at birth
In the forest grove amid animals and the bird cruises
Where creatures of deep gathered around winged birds
Fed her on the forest fruits and the golden mango juices.
Through the glittering window a breeze strode
She stretched out for comfort but a sadness rose
Within her heart she felt some vacant space
Something strange was happening to her, she froze.
A gaily-painted elephant passing in the street
The dance of peacock in yellow and ultramarine
The impassioned warblings of the flying crane
The cooing of the koel now calling for her mate.
A maid came in and told her a strange story
That a prince has come to visit her city
But a prince without any kingdom or the riches
No royal robes he wore but only dross of stitches.
Under the trees of the lengthening shadows
Ambapali walked on in the evening light
To the place where the prince held his assembly
Though burdened in heart but trying to feel bright.
The monks with yellow robes surrounded the place
When they saw her they pointed out with scornful gesture
That she should just turn back without polluting the place
As city courtesan she should be ashamed to show her face.
As there was a commotion among the gathering crowd
And Buddha noticed a female struggling to reach
Let my daughter come, please make for her a way
No one is barred from my assembly with or without a say.
When she approached the radiant figure sitting on dais
Suddenly something broke within her and a flood issued
She could not hold back running tears from her eye’s wreath
And fell on the saviour’s feet drenching the ground beneath.
Lord I have found a refuge for myself under thy feet
Please accept a poor woman like me as your disciple
I offer you all my riches and estate of the mango grove
Will renounce the whole world just for thy blessed face.
In her tears there was a ceaseless flight
Of birth and death and of all that chides
Ceasing by the end to the quenchless light
Beyond the mortal eyes, there limitless resides.
Listen monks, listen all the noble assembly
I have found that there is none outcast to receive my teaching
That there is no cast imbedded in tears or in blood or suffering
My kruna is for those who suffer when their blood is shed
My pity lies for those who shed tears when their heart is bled.
I will accept you
My fair daughter
In my sangha
And let the assembly recite
According to my custom.
OM MANI PADME HUM !
OM MANI PADME HUM !