佛學講座 - 佛學問答(English) - What does the name Ananda, one of the Buddha' s disciples, denote? What was Ananda best known for?
What does the name Ananda, one of the Buddha' s disciples, denote? What was Ananda best known for?

Ananda in Sanskrit speaks for joy. On the night of Ananda' s birth, his

uncle, king Suddhodana (pure rice king), then resting on the veranda,

was first told of his son, prince Siddhartha, attaining enlightenment

and becoming Sakyamuni Buddha. Great joy arising in mind, king

Suddhodana was then informed of the birth of a son to his own brother,

who thereby requested a name to be bestowed upon the newborn.

Without thinking twice, the king named the baby Ananda.

Perhaps the most talked-about incident in the life of Ananda the

Honored One was his encounter with the Matanga girl, who in ancient

Indian tradition would follow her mother' s surname. As it happened,

the hopelessly infatuated Matanga girl became unrelenting in pursuit

of Ananda, who, on the other hand, adhered to the precepts and

discipline with purity and vigor and would try anything to turn her down.

On knowing, the Buddha sent Manjusri Bodhisattva to his rescue. When

Ananda finally fled back to the bodhi villa, she scurried after him. With

the two before him, the Buddha undertook to expound life as the result

of cause and condition through many lifetimes. Unraveled, the Matanga

girl asked to leave home to become a bhiksuni and learn to practice

under the bhiksuni Mahaprajapati.