Poem – Seven Lifetimes

Princes Yasodhara

offered lotus flowers to

young prince Siddhartha

This offer in past lives arranged

an eternal love affair

prophesied and destined

Two babes both auspicious,

from royal castes

with mixed destinies

Siddhartha won her

through compassion, not with brawn

she chose him to love

Married at just 16, she joined his family

they enjoyed loving, dreaming

challenging their caste system

laughter and companionship

13 years later, a son Rahula was born

She had a family

She awoke alone

He sought the answer to death

And left them behind

Yasodhara, despite many luxurious proposals

lives simply, eating just one meal a day, adorned in saffron robes

raises Rahula, with the love of her elders

and honors them as well as

Prince Siddhartha’s journey, his quest for enlightenment.

Transforming being left

into the gift of staying

She seeks peace within

7 years later Buddha returns

Rahula, per Yasodhara’s wishes seeks him out

requested his inheritance

Rahula chooses the hermitage; joining the family of monks instead

realized spiritual enlightenments by the age of 18

Peace over politics

She waited, Buddha

arrived; she wept at his sight

He expressed thanks

for her lifetimes of loving; lotus flowers

exchanged, laughter, passion, exposing castes

for selflessly assisting his enlightenment over many lifetimes

for staying with his family

She joins a nunnery; becomes one of 13

great Bhikkuni disciples

She became a nun

gained paranormal gifts

transformative powers

Her life an example

of blooming in any circumstance

through shallow, murky waters

she emerged like a


Rahula precedes 

His parents to Nirvana

as the lotus seed,

a reminder of impermanence.

Before her impending departure

Yasodhara said goodbye to Buddha

She left as the lotus blossom

entering Nirvana at age 78 with

beauty, generosity, forbearance, patience

kindness, strength and acceptance

A living lotus

transforms sorrows into joy

eons of love, complete.

Will they be reunited in eternity?

6/14/17 Lisa A. Ratnavira

*Padparadscha refers to a peachish pink lotus flower and color of a sapphire found in Sri Lanka and India.

More about the author :

LISA RATNAVIRA resides in Fallbrook, CA with her husband, wildlife artist,
GAMINI RATNAVIRA. Their art and poetry connect in her books: Maiden,
Mother & Crone (written with RAE ROSE and PENNY PERRY), Traveling with
Pen and Brush, and Grief’s Labyrinth and other Poems (Garden Oak Press),
available online at and
LIS is a regular contributor to the San Diego Poetry Annual and holds an
MA from Concordia University in Irvine, Ca. She has traveled to more than
16 countries, including Singapore, Sri Lanka, England, Africa, Bermuda,
Bahamas, Bali, Trinidad, Panama, Costa Rica, Spain, Canary Islands, the
Maldives, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and throughout the USA.
Her sons BEAU and BROOKS reside in Japan and Fallbrook, respectively.
Her daughter, NATALIE, is free from an earthly address. She often visits in
the form of a dragonfly.

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