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XVII: 1 The lady who was cured of her skin disease (Rohini)
On one occasion, Venerable Anuruddha visited Kapilavatthu. While he was staying at the monastery there, all his relatives, with the exception of his sister Rohini, came to see him. On learning from them that Rohini did not come because she was suffering from a skin disease, he sent for her. Covering her head in shame, Rohini went to see Anuruddha. He advised her to do some meritorious deeds. He told her to raise some money by selling off her jewellery to build a community hall where people could perform meritorious deeds. Rohini did as she was told. Anuruddha also requested his relatives to help in the construction of the hall. Further, he advised Rohini to sweep the floor and fill the water-pots every day even while the construction was still going on. She followed his advice and she began to get better.
When the hall was completed, the Buddha and his bhikkhus were invited for almsfood. After the meal, the Enlightened One asked for the donor of the building but Rohini was not around. So he sent for her. She came and paid her homage to the Buddha, and he then revealed that she had to suffer this terrible disease because of an evil deed she had done out of anger in one of her past existences. He told her that she was at one time the chief queen of the king of Benares. The king had a favourite dancer and she was very jealous of the dancer. One day, she instructed her attendants to put some itching powder in the dancer's bed and her blankets, and to humiliate her by throwing some itching powder on her. The poor dancer itched all over and was in great pain and discomfort. Thus itching unbearably, she ran to her bed, which made her suffer even more.
As a result of that evil deed, Rohini had to suffer the skin disease in this existence. The Buddha then exhorted the congregation not to act foolishly in anger and not to bear any ill-will towards others.
At the end of the discourse, many in the congregation, including Rohini, attained Sainthood. At the same time her skin disease disappeared, and her complexion became clear and smooth.
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