Yasodharā in Jātakas
By Sarah Shaw18 pages
Unlike others in the [Vessantara Jātaka], [Yasodharā] never breaks precepts, or puts her own wishes, however noble, before the needs and requirements that the beings in the immediate situation demand: she provides the true moral compass of the tale. […] Maddī, like Vessantara, has to give up everything, but, unlike him, she never lets go of her sense of interconnectedness with other beings: whether her husband, her family, her environment, or, perhaps, her vow
This paper discusses the role of the Buddha’s wife, Yasodharā/Rāhulamūtā, in Pāli Jātakas. Noting her continued popularity in South and Southeast Asian Buddhism, it considers her path to liberation seen as a composite whole, through many lifetimes, and considers some of the literary implications of this multiple depiction.