The World Honored One then spoke to Gautami saying, "Why do
you stare at the Thus Come One with such a worried
expression? Are you not thinking of saying that I have not
mentioned your name in connection with receiving a prediction for Anuttarasamyaksambodhi? Gautami,
I included all of you when previously I conferred predictions upon all of the Hearers. Now you wish to know about your predictions. In the future, within the Dharma of sixty-eight billion Buddhas, you shall be a Great Dharma Master. You and the six thousand Bhikshunis who are studying and who are beyond study shall all become Dharma Masters. In this way you shall gradually perfect the Bodhisattva path and become a Buddha by the name of 'Thus Come One upon Whom All Beings Look with Delight,' One Worthy of Offerings, of Right and Universal Knowledge, Perfect in Clarity and Conduct, Well-Gone One Who Understands the World, Supreme Lord, Regulating Hero, Teacher of Gods and Humans, Buddha, World Honored One.
"Gautami! The Buddha upon Whom All Beings Look with Delight and the six thousand Bodhisattvas will successively confer predictions for Anuttarasamyaksambodhi upon one another."
The World Honored One then spoke to Gautami
saying, "Why do you stare at the Thus Come One with such a
worried expression? Are you not thinking of saying that I
have not mentioned your name in connection with receiving a prediction for
Anuttarasamyaksambodhi? Is that what's troubling you?
Gautami, I included all of you when previously I conferred predictions upon all of the Hearers. Now you wish to know about your predictions. In the future, within the Dharma of sixty-eight billion Buddhas, you shall be a Great Dharma Master. You and the six thousand Bhikshunis who are studying and who are beyond study shall all become Dharma Masters. In this way you shall gradually perfect the Bodhisattva path." Drawing near and making offerings to sixty-eight billion Buddhas, bit by bit you will perfect the Six Paramitas and ten thousand conducts. When you have perfected the Bodhisattva conduct, you shall become a Buddha complete with the Three Kinds of Enlightenment:
2. Enlightenment of others, and
3. The perfection of enlightenment and practice.
"And you will become a Buddha by the name of 'Thus Come One upon Whom All Beings Look with Delight.' All living beings will take delight in seeing you. You will be
One Worthy of Offerings, of Right and Universal Knowledge, Perfect in Clarity and Conduct, Well-Gone One Who Understands the World, Supreme Lord, a
Regulating Hero, a Teacher of Gods
and Humans, a Buddha, and a
World Honored One, complete with the ten titles common to all Buddhas.
"Gautami! The Buddha upon Whom All Beings Look with Delight and the six thousand Bodhisattvas will successively confer predictions for Anuttarasamyaksambodhi upon one another." The first Bodhisattva will confer a prediction upon the second and so on down the line, until all six thousand have received predictions for the attainment of the Unsurpassed Proper and Equal Right Enlightenment.
The Bhikshuni Yashodhara, Rahula's mother, then thought, "When conferring predictions, the World Honored One never mentioned my name."
The Bhikshuni Yashodhara was
Rahula's mother; Rahula was the Buddha's son. His name is Sanskrit and means "covering obstacle." In the past he was a cultivator. One time he was meditating and a mouse started to gnaw at some wood, making a lot of noise. Since he wanted some quiet, he plugged up the mouse hole. He left it that way for six days while he continued to meditate. As he was meditating, he thought of the mouse and wondered whether it was still alive. The fifth day passed, and on the sixth day, he couldn't bear it any longer. Why couldn't he bear it? His compassionate heart emerged, and he thought, "Ah, I trapped that mouse in its hole. Have I broken the precept against killing?" And so, after six days, his compassion moved him to uncover the hole. Nevertheless, in this life, he was in his mother's womb for six years as a retribution.
There were other problems connected with Rahula's birth as well. Indian society was very conservative at that time. Rahula was born six years after the Buddha left home to cultivate in the Ice Mountains. The members of the Shakyan clan said, "This is a bad woman. The Buddha is gone, and she has had a child. She must have found another man! We should burn her to death." Under the strict customs of Indian society, both mother and child were to be burned.
Yashodhara said, "If this child is really Prince Siddhartha's, then the fire won't burn me. If it is not, the child and I will burn." When she entered the fire, it turned into a lotus and the two were spared. The Shakyans knew they had judged her wrongly. But how did Rahula come to be conceived?
When Yashodara told the Prince, "You may leave the home- life, but you must give me a son," he just pointed his finger at her and said, "Now you are with child." And she was pregnant. That's how strange it was. The child stayed in her womb for six years before being born. The Prince meditated in the mountains for six years, and Yashodara carried Rahula for six years. That's why she gave him the name Rahula, which means "covering" and "obstacle." His birth nearly caused his mother to be burned to death. Fortunately, the Bodhisattvas came to the rescue and she was not burned.
Rahula's mother was the Bhikshuni Yashodhara. Does anyone remember what the word means? Yashodara means "flower-like" because she was as beautiful as a flower.
She then thought, "When conferring predictions the World Honored One never mentioned my name. The Bhikshus, Bhikshunis, Arhats and everyone got predictions. Why not me, his former wife?" She couldn't put this question aside and started false thinking about it. It was really bothering her, but she didn't say anything. Although she said nothing, the Buddha knew what she was thinking to herself, for he could read other people's minds. He knew at once that Bhikshuni Yashodara had something on her mind.
To be continued