Manohara

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For the Indonesian Socialite, see Manohara Odelia Pinot.

Manohara is the Kinnari (half woman, half bird) heroine of the Jataka Tale story of Prince Sudhana and Manohara. The legend appears in the Divyavadana and is documented by stone reliefs at Borobodur.[1]

This story is famous in Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia. The Pannasjataka, Pali text written by a Buddhist monk/sage in Chiangmai around AD 1450-1470, also told the story of Sudhana and Manohra. There are also many similar versions told in China, Japan and Korea, including the Chinese story of the Princess and the Cowherd. (See Qixi Festival.) In these stories, seven women who can fly descended to earth to take a bath, the youngest and prettiest of whom was captured by a human, and subsequently became a wife of a male human (either her captor or the prince-hero of the story). Later in the stories, the heroine put on some magical thing that enabled her to fly or transform into a bird, and flew away; prompting the quest by the hero in pursuit of his flying wife.

Synopsis[edit]

Manohara, the youngest of seven daughters of the Kinara King, lives on Mount Kailash. One day, she travels to the human realm. She is caught by a hunter who gives her to Prince Sudhana. The prince falls in love with Manohara, and they get married.

Later, when the prince is away in battle, Manohara is accused of bringing bad luck to the city and is threatened with death. She flies away, back to the Kinnara Kingdom. She leaves behind a ring and the directions to reach the Kinnara Kingdom, so that Prince Sudhana can follow her.

Prince Sudhana returns to the city and follows her. After an extensive and adventurous journey with many tests assessing strength, perseverance, and wit, he finds Manohara. They then live happily ever after.

References[edit]