Ambapali grew to be a lady of extraordinary beauty, charm, and grace. Many young nobles of the republic desired her company. To avoid confrontations among her suitors, she was accorded the status of state courtesan of Vaishali. Stories of her beauty travelled to the ears of Bimbisara, king of the hostile neighbouring kingdom of Magadha. He attacked Vaishali, and took refuge in Ambapali's house. Bimbisara was a good musician. Before long, Ambapali and Bimbisara fell in love. When she learned his true identity, Ambapali asked Bimbisara to leave and cease his war. Bimbisara, smitten with love, did as she asked. In the eyes of the people of Vaishali, this incident made him a coward. Later, Amrapali bore him a son named Vimala Kondanna. Ajatashatru, Bimbisara's son by Queen Chelna according to Jaina traditions (Queen Kosala Devi according to Buddhist traditions), later invaded Vaishali due a dispute with his brothers. He was so moved by her beauty that when Ambapali was imprisoned, he burned the whole of Vaishali. Almost everyone died in the massacre, except his beloved Ambapali, but when she saw the condition of her motherland, she renounced her love to him.
At one time, Ambapali desired the privilege of serving food to the Buddha. The Buddhist traditions state that Buddha accepted the invitation against the wishes of the ruling aristocracy of Vaishali due to King Ajatashatru. Ambapali received the Buddha with her retinue, and offered meals to him. Soon thereafter, she renounced her position as courtesan, accepted the Buddhist way, and remained an active supporter of the Buddhist order.
On growing up, Vimala Kondanna too became a Buddhist monk.
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