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Āsaṅka Jātaka (No.380)

Once the Bodhisatta was an ascetic in the Himavā. At that time a being of great merit left Tāvatiṃsa and was born as a girl in the midst of a lotus in a pool near the Bodhisatta’s hermitage. The Bodhisatta, noticing some peculiarity in the growth of the lotus, swam to it and recovered the girl, whom he brought up as his daughter, giving her the name of Āsaṅkā. Sakka, coming to visit him, saw the girl, and, inquiring what he could do for her comfort, he provided her with a crystal palace and divine food and raiment. She spent her time waiting on the Bodhisatta.

The King of Bārāṇasī, having heard of her great beauty, came to the forest with a large following and asked for her hand. The Bodhisatta agreed, on condition that the king would tell him her name. The king spent a whole year trying to guess it and, having failed, was returning home in despair, when the girl, looking out of her window, told him of the creeper Āsāvatī, for whose fruits gods wait for one thousand years. She thus encouraged him to try again. Another year passed and she again raised hopes in the disappointed king by relating to him the story of a crane whose hopes Sakka had fulfilled. At the end of the third year the king, disgusted by his failure, started to go home, but again the girl engaged him in conversation, and in the course of their talk the girl’s name was mentioned. When the king was told that the word had occurred in his talk, he returned to the Bodhisatta and told it to him. The Bodhisatta then gave Āsaṅkā in marriage to the king (J.iii.248‑54). See also the Indriya Jātaka.

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