Amrapali is an excellent character in Indian History. She was known as a dancer and also a philosophical thoughts-oriented woman. Amrapali was founded at the foot of a mango tree in Vaishali but was unknown about the details of her parents. Vaishali was a famous city and the first republic empire in the ancient world. It was the capital city of the Lichhavi republic. She was found at the trunk of the mango tree known as Ambapali and Amba, which means mango tree.
Ajatashatru love for Amrapali
Amrapali was a wonderful and charming woman at a young age. Many noble people and rich men sought her company to appease their desires. These circumstances made her the status of ‘nagarvadhu’, which means the city courtesan. This was also a custom in ancient times to live as the ‘courtesan’. Her beauty and charm spread everywhere in the Lichhavi republic. Bimbisara, the emperor of the Magadha kingdom, also received this news. Bimbisara wanted her as his consort, so he attacked Vaishali. During this war, Amrapali learned the background story of attacking Vaishali. Hence, she went to Bimbisara and asked him to leave Vaishali. Then he honoured her request and left Vaishali, and married her. Later few years a son named was also born to them named Vimal Kondanna. When the boy grew up and followed the Buddhist preachers, he became a monk.
Amrapali Rejects Ajatashatru
When Ajatashatru became the emperor of Maghada, he also invaded Vaishali. During the battle, he was seriously injured. With the force of the circumstances, Amrapali treated the injuries and cured them. During nursing, Ajatashatru also fell in love with her. This news spread to the people of Vaishali; the furious people beat her and imprisoned her. The imprisoned news came towards Ajatashatru, who became angry about the Vaishali people’s behaviour and wanted her to be free. To make her accessible, he ravaged the city and cruelly treated the people of Vaishali. Amrapali felt very sad about these unwanted situations and finally rejected the love of Ajatashatru.
Becoming Buddhist Bhikkhus
Lord Buddha knew the story of Amrapali from his usual visitor of Vaishali. One day Buddha visited Vaishali along with his disciples. All the devotees of Vaishali saw Him and paid their honour. The arrival of Lord Buddha was received by the dancer who met Him in a garden. Then She invited Lord Buddha to her home to serve food. Buddha accepted her invitation and went to the mango grove, which belonged to the dancer. There she impressed the preachers of Lord Buddha and had known about the salvation of life. She was ashamed of her past life and wanted to lead a fresh lease on life. So she begged Buddha to change her life the way of attaining salvation of life. Due to her request, Buddha blessed and accepted her as his disciple. From then, she became a Buddhist bhikkhu and gifted the mango grove to the Buddha Sangha.