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Buddhism and Tarot: Sujata, Queen of Cups
(c) Cheryl Lynne Bradley 2002

Once there was as very beautiful and wealthy young woman named Sujata who lived in a village called Senani. All Sujata wanted was a husband equal to her in rank and a son. She had waited a long time for this to happen and she had not yet seen the fulfillment of her desire.

People advised her to go to special Banyan treee near the Neranjara River. She was to pray to the tree-god to give her a husband and a son. She did what they told her and her prayers were rewarded by a marriage to a fine young man and the birth to a lovely son. She was so happy and grateful that she decided to fulfill the vow she had made to the tree-god for granting her what her heart had desired.

Sujata had a herd of one thousand cattle and she fed them valmee, a sweet creeper, which made the cow's milk wonderfully sweet. She milked her thousand head of cattle and fed the milk to five hundred cattle. She milked the five hundred cattle and fed their milk to two hundred and fifty cattle and continued this until she fed only eight cows. She had done this to get the sweetest milk with the most nourishment in order to make milk-rice as her offering of thanks to the tree-god.

As Sujata was preparing the milk-rice, the servant whom she had sent to clean and prepare the offering area under the Banyan tree came running up to her. Her servant was very excited and told her that the Banyan god was meditating under the tree. Sujata was very happy and excited as well that the god gad come to receive her offering in person and poured the milk-rice into a golden bowl.

Sujata and her servant took the milk to the Banyan tree and she saw a holy man sitting under the tree. He was handsome, golden, serene in his aspect and in deep meditation. She did not know that this was Gotama Buddha. As Sujata bowed with respect to him and offered him the milk-rice, she asked him to accept her gift of milk-rice and wished that he would be successful in obtaining all of his wishes, as she had been in obtaining hers.

Gotama Buddha drank the milk-rice and bathed in the river. He would not eat or bathe again for another seven weeks.

When he had finished the milk-rice he threw the golden bowl in the river and said "If I am to succeed in becoming a Buddha today, let this bowl go upstream, but if not, let if go downstream." The golden bowl floated upstream and never strayed from the middle of the river.

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This page was created on October 26, 2002.