Here's the latest article from the Buddhism site at BellaOnline.com:
Pajapati - Stepmom to Buddha and First Nun
Maha Pajapati Gotami was the Buddha's foster mother, raising him from infancy, and as an adult persuaded him to allow an order of Buddhist nuns, one of the first women religious orders in the world.
Also included in the article is this poem by Pajapati, from the Therigatha:
Homage to you Buddha
best of all creatures
who set me and many
others free from pain.
All pain is understood
The cause, the craving
is dried up.
The Noble eight-fold way unfolds.
I have reached the state where everything stops.
I have been mother, son, father, brother, grandmother,
knowing nothing of the truth
I journeyed on.
But I have seen the Blessed one.
This is my last body and I will not go from birth to birth again.
Look at the disciples all together.
Their energy, their sincere effort
this is homage to Buddhas.
Maya gave birth to Gautama for the sake of us all.
She has driven back the pain of the sick and dying.
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Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
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