Queen Maha Maya's Dream
than 2,500 years ago, there was a king called Suddhodana.
He married a beautiful Koliyan princess named Maha Maya.
The couple ruled over the Sakyas, a warrior tribe living
next to the Koliya tribe, in the north of India, in what
is now known as Nepal. The capital of the Sakya country
was laid out across the foothills of the Himalayas and
Maha Maya was the daughter of King Anjana of the Koliyas.
Such was her beauty that the name Maya, meaning "vision"
was given to her. But it was Maya's virtues and talents
that were her most wonderful qualities, for she was endowed
with the highest gifts of intelligence and piety. King
Suddhodana was indeed worthy of his lovely wife. He himself
was called "King of the Law" because he ruled according
to the law. There was no other man among the Sakyas more
honored and respected. The king was admired by his nobles
and courtiers, as well as by the householders and merchants.
Such was the noble family from which the Buddha was to
full moon night, sleeping in the palace, the queen had
a vivid dream. She felt herself being carried away by
four devas (spirits) to Lake Anotatta in the Himalayas.
After bathing her in the lake, the devas clothed her in
heavenly cloths, anointed her with perfumes, and bedecked
her with divine flowers. Soon after a white elephant,
holding a white lotus flower in its trunk, appeared and
went round her three times, entering her womb through
her right side. Finally the elephant disappeared and the
queen awoke, knowing she had been delivered an important
message, as the elephant is a symbol of greatness in Nepal.
The next day, early in the morning, the queen told the
king about the dream. The king was puzzled and sent for
some wise men to discover the meaning of the dream.
wise men said, "Your Majesty, you are very lucky. The
devas have chosen our queen as the mother of the Purest-One
and the child will become a very great being." The king
and queen were very happy when they heard this.
were so pleased that they invited many of the noblemen
in the country to the palace to a feast to tell them the
good news. Even the needy were not forgotten. Food and
clothes were given to the poor people in celebration.
The whole kingdom waited eagerly for the birth of the
new prince, and Queen Maya enjoyed a happy and healthy
pregnancy, living a pure life for herself and her unborn