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In Bhikkhu Nanamoli's The Life of the Buddha when describing the circumstances around his birth, Nanamoli writes

When the Bodhisatta had descended into his mother's womb, no thought of man associated with the five strands of sensual desires came to her at all, and she was inaccessible to any man with lustful mind.

When the Bodhisatta had descended into his mother's womb, she at the same time possessed the five strands of sensual desires; and being endowed and furnished with them, she was gratified in them.

I understand the first paragraph. And, I assume that by "the five strands of sensual desires" he's referring to the five kāmaguṇa in this answer.

The first paragraph seems to be portraying that this was a virgin conception (or, if not virgin, then it was a pregnancy that did not arise through coitus). However, I don't understand what is actually being said in the second paragraph quoted. Is it merely saying that, in addition to the purity of her being just described, she was herself exceptionally comely?

Another aspect of this that confuses me is what is meant by "she was gratified in them"?

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When the Bodhisatta had descended into his mother's womb, no thought of man associated with the five strands of sensual desires came to her at all, and she was inaccessible to any man with lustful mind.

It means after she was pregnant, while B. was in her womb, she did not have lustful thoughts, therefore she would not have had any sexual activity during that time of her pregnancy.

When the Bodhisatta had descended into his mother's womb, she at the same time possessed the five strands of sensual desires; and being endowed and furnished with them, she was gratified in them.

Here is every reference to 5kg kama guna in the suttas: https://lucid24.org/sted/5kg/index.html

You can see how it's used in both a negative sense, and positive sense. The negative sense is that one attached to 5kg, such as food, music, sex, will continue to rebirth in samasara infinitely. The positive sense, such as a king enjoying 5kg, or the devas enjoying 5kg, means that they're enjoying food, sex, music, etc., obtained in an ethical way that doesn't harm others.

Another aspect of this that confuses me is what is meant by "she was gratified in them"?

So it means the Buddha's mother, while pregnant, enjoyed food, music, etc., and probably didn't experience the typical pains of pregnancy.

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Without any scholarly investigation of the text, my impression is the text says:

  1. When the bodhisatta entered her womb, her mind was without any thoughts of the sight, smell, sound, taste or touch of a man.

  2. Upon knowing she was pregnant, she was gratified with thoughts of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches associated with pregnancy.

In other words, a man may foolishly think a woman loves him but, in reality, a woman is primarily interested in getting pregnant & her offspring.

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