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Sambulā Jātaka (No.519)

Sambulā was the wife of Sotthisena, king of Bārāṇasī, whose father was the Bodhisatta. Sambulā was very beautiful, but when Sotthisena, being seized with leprosy, left his kingdom and went into the forest, she went with him and tended him with great devotion. One day, after fetching food from the forest, she went to bathe, and was drying herself, when she was seized by a yakkha who threatened to carry her away.

By her power Sakka’s throne was heated, and Sakka, coming with his thunderbolt, frightened the yakkha and put him in chains. It was late when Sambulā returned home, and Sotthisena, wishing to test her love, refused to believe her story.

She then performed an Act of Truth, declaring that she was faithful and sprinkled water on Sotthisena. He was completely healed, and together they went to Bārāṇasī, where Sotthisena’s father was still king. He made Sotthisena king and became an ascetic. Sotthisena gave himself up to pleasure and neglected Sambulā. The ascetic, returning, found her thin and miserable and, learning the reason, admonished Sotthisena.

The story was related in reference to Mallikā’s great devotion to her husband. She is identified with Sambulā and Pasenadi with Sotthisena. J.v.88‑98.

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