Bimala Churn Law, Ph.D.
An account of some famous women who figure prominently in the
early Buddhist texts is given in the following pages. The account
will show that women were not a negligible factor in the ancient
Buddhist community of India.
was the daughter of a Sakya noble named Khemaka. She was called
Nanda the Fair for her great beauty and amiability. Her beloved
kinsman, Carabhuta, died on the day on which she was to choose
him from amongst her suitors. She had to leave the world against
her will. Though she entered the order, she could not forget
that she was beautiful. Fearing that, the Buddha would rebuke
her, she used to avoid his presence. The Buddha knew that the
time had come for her to acquire knowledge and asked Mahapajapati
Gotami to bring all the bhikkhunis before him to receive instruction.
Nanda sent a proxy for her. The Buddha said, "Let no one
come by proxy." So she was compelled to come to him. The
Buddha by his supernatural power conjured up a beautiful woman,
who became transformed into an old and fading figure. If had
the desired effect, and Abhirupananda became an arhat. (Therigatha
Commy., pp. 25-26.)
or Jenta was born in a princely family of the Licchavis
at Vaisali. She won arhatship after hearing the dhamma preached
by the Buddha. She developed the seven Sambojjhangas. (Ibid.,
was born at Rajagaha in the family of a leading burgess. When
she was of age, she one day heard the master preach and believed
in his doctrine. She was ordained by Mahapajapati the Gotami.
In her old age she climbed the vulture's peak and lived like
a recluse. Her insight expanded and she won arhatship. (Ibid.,
was born at Rajagaha in the family of a rich householder. When
she attained years of discretion, she believed in the Master's
teaching and became a lay disciple. One day she heard Dhammadinna
preach and was so greatly moved that she renounced the world
and followed Dhammadinna. She performed all the exercises for
acquiring insight and very soon attained arhatship with patisambhida.
Thereupon she became a great preacher and was attended by 500
bhikkhus. One day, along with the other bhikkhunis, she went
to the hermitage of the bhikkhunis and taught the Buddha's doctrine
in such a way that everybody listened to her with rapt attention;
even the tree-spirit was so much moved that it began to praise
her. At this the people were excited and came to the sister
and listened attentively. (Ibid., pp.57-61.)
was born in the kingdom of Alavi, as the king's daughter. She
was also known as Alavika. One day, while yet a maid, she went
with the king and heard the Master preach. She became a believer
and lay disciple. A few days after, she took orders and performed
the exercises for insight. She subjugated the complexities of
thought, word and deed and soon won arhatship. Thereafter she
lived at Savatthi when the Buddha was there. She entered Andhavana
to meditate after finishing her midday meal. Mara once tried
in vain to persuade her to choose the sensuous life (Ibid.,
p.61, f. Cf. Samyutta Nikaya, part 1, p.128).
was born at Vesali as the daughter of General Siha's sister.
She was named after her maternal uncle. When she grew up, she
heard the Master teaching the Norm to her maternal uncle and
became a believer. She was permitted by her parents to enter
the order. For seven years she could not acquire insight as
her mind became always inclined to objects of external charm.
Then she intended to die. She took a noose, hung it round the
bough of a tree and fastened it round her neck. Thus she succeeded
in impelling her mind to insight which grew within and she won
arhatahip. She then took off the rope from her neck and went
back to her hermitage. (Ibid., pp.79-80).
Nanda was born in the royal family of the Sakyas. She was
known as the beautiful Nanda. Thinking about the fact that her
elder brother, her mother, her brother, her sister and her nephew
had renounced the world, she too left it. Even after her renunciation,
she was obsessed with the idea of her beauty and would not approach
the Lord lest she should ber eproached for her folly. The Lord
taught her in the same way as he did in the case of Nanda the
Fair. She listened to the Master's teaching and enjoyed the
benefit of the fruition of the first stage of sanctification.
He then instructed her saying, "Nanda, there is in this
body not even the smallest essence. It is but a heap of bones
covered with flesh and besmeared with blood under the shadow
of decay and death." Afterwards she became an arhat. (Ibid.,
pp.80 f.; cf. Manora- thapurani, pp. 217-218).
was born in the royal family of Sagala. She was very beautiful
and her skin was like gold. She became the consort of Bimbisara.
One day she heard that the Buddha was in the habit of speaking
ill of beauty, since then she did not appear before the Buddha.
The king was a chief supporter of the Buddha. He asked his court-poets
to compose a song on the glories of the Veluvana hermitage and
to sing the song very loudly so that the queen might hear it.
The royal order was carried out. Khema heard of the beauty of
the hermitage and with the king's consent she came to the Veluvana
Vihara, where the Buddha was staying at that time. When she
was led before the Buddha, the latter conjured up a woman to
be celestial nymph who stood fanning him with a palm leaf. Khema
observed this woman like a more beautiful than she and was ashamed
of her own grace. Sometime after she noticed again that the
woman was passing from youth to middle age and then to old age,
till with broken teeth, grey hair, and wrinkled skin, she fell
on earth with her palm leaf. Then thought Khema that her beautiful
body would meet with the same fate as that of the nymph. Then
the Master, who knew her thoughts, said that persons subject
to lust suffer from the result of their action, while those
freed from all bondage forsake the world.
the Master had finished speaking, Khema, according to the commentary,
attained arhatship and according to the Apadana, she was established
in the fruition of the first stage of sanctification and with
the king's permission she entered the order before she became
an arhat. Thereafter she made a name for her insight and was
ranked foremost amongst the bhikkhunis possessing great wisdom.
In vain Mara tried to tempt her with sensuous ideas. (Ibid.,
pp. 126 f.; cf. Manorathapurani, p.205; cf. Anguttara, n. 1,
was the daughter of a banker named Majjha living in Saketa.
She was of unique beauty. She was sued by many sons of bankers,
higher officers of the State, but she thought that there was
no happiness in household life. She went to the Master and heard
his teachings. Her intelligence matured. She strove hard for
insight and was established in the third fruition. On the seventh
day thereafter she attained arhatship. (Ibid., pp.138-139.)
was born at Vesali in the house of a very prosperous Brahman.
When grown up she went to the Master and heard him preach the
doctrine. She obtained sotapattiphalam. She converted her parents
to Buddha's faith and got permission from them and entered the
order. She performed the exercises for acquiring insight and
very soon attained arhatship (Ibid., pp.214 f.)
was the daughter of a certain goldsmith of Rajagaha. She was
very beautiful and was therefore called Subha. When grown up
she saw the Master and believed in his doctrine. The Master
saw the maturity of her moral faculties and taught her the dhamma.
She was afterwards established in the fruition of the first
stage of sanctification. Thereafter she entered the order under
Mahapajapafi Gotami. She strove hard for insight and in course
of time she won arhatship. (Ibid., pp.236 f.).
was born at Kapilavastu among the Sakyas. She renounced the
world with Mahapajapati Gotami and became spiritually so developed
that she attained arhatship. (Ibid., pp.11-13)
daughter of King Konca of Mantavati, was averse to the pleasures
of senses from her childhood. She renounced the world hearing
the doctrine of the Buddha from the bhikkhunis. Very soon she
acquired insight and attained arhatship (Ibid., 272 f.)
was the daughter of Sumanadevi, wife of Dhananjayasetthi, son
of Mundakasetthi. Her abode was at Bhaddiyanagara in the kingdom
of Anga. When seven years old Buddha with the bhikkhusamgha
went to Bhaddiyanagara. Sumanadevi was one of the advisers of
the king. Visakha with 500 female companions and 500 chariots
received Buddha, who gave instructions to her according to her
nature and she obtained sotapattiphalam. The Buddha was invited
to Visakha's house. Visakha who was endowed with five kinds
of beauty was married to Punnavaddhana of Savatthi. The presents
sent by the citizens of Savatthi for her, were distributed by
her among the citizens with great courtesy. She made the citizens
her own relatives. She refused to salute the naked heretics
who were worshipped by her father-in-law. Her father-in-law
was converted to Buddhism through her efforts. Once Visakha
invited the bhikkhus and her father-in-law on hearing the sermon
obtained sotapattiphalam (D.C., I, 384 f.)
the death of her grandchild, who was very dear to her, Visakha
went to see the Buddha with wet clothes and wet hair. The Buddha
asked her whether she would be satisfied if all the people of
Savatthi became her sons and grandsons. She replied in the affirmative.
The Master asked her as to how many people met with their death
at Savatthi. Visakha said from one to ten. The Buddha told her,
" Just think whether you would be free from wet clothes
and wet hair". Visakha said that she did not want so many
sons and grandsons, because acquisition of more sons and grandsons
would bring greater suffering (Udana, 91-92).
mother of Migara, was the foremost of the female supporters
of the Buddha (A.N., 1, p. 26). Once on a sabbath day she went
to the Buddha while the latter was in her palace named Pubbarama.
Buddha instructed Visakha thus, "There were three kinds
of uposatha and the ariya uposatha is the best of the uposathas.
The Master then said that in order to observe ariya uposatha
one should meditate on the Buddha, Dhamma and Samgha. Silas
must be unbroken and fully observed. One should also meditate
on the qualities of gods. One should follow Arhats who follow
precepts throughout their lives. By observing ariya uposatha
one may obtain great happiness and may be reborn in one of the
heavens commencing from the Catumaharajika to the Paranimmittavasavatti
and enjoy great celestial happiness there (A.N., I, 205-215).
Visakha was further instructed by the Buddha thus, "Dependence
on others is suffering, independence brings happiness".
once blamed the bhikkhus for not allowing her grandson to be
ordained during the lent, as owing to this delay her grandson's
mind was changed. (Vinaya Pitaka, 1, 153.) She once went to
the Buddha and invited him together with the bhikkhus to take
food at her house the next morning. Heavy rains fell on the
following morning and the bhikkhus, as they had no bathing costumes,
bathed themselves naked. Visakha came to know this fact from
her maid servant who was sent to call the bhikkhus. The Buddha
together with the bhikkhus came to her house. She fed the Buddha,
and the bhikkhus satisfactorily. After they had finished their
meal, Visakha prayed to the Buddha for the following boons:--As
long as she lived, she would give garments for the rainy season
to the bhikkhus, food to the guests and food to those going
abroad, diet to the sick bhikkhus, food to the sick-- nurses,
medicine for the sick bhikkhus, rice gruel to the bhikkhus daily
and bathing garments to the bhikkhunis (V.P., vol. 1, pp.290-292).
From this fact it is evident that Visakha introduced bathing
garments for the bhikkhunis. It was Visakha who offered to the
Buddha a napkin which he accepted. (V.P., 1, 296).
are further informed that Visakha, as soon as she heard of the
advent of the quarrelsome Kosambian bhikkhus, approached the
Buddha to take his advice as to how she should deal with them.
The Buddha advised her to offer charities to the two parties
of the quarrelsome Kosambian monks, (V.P.,1, 356). Visakha prepared
a golden water-pot for the Buddha. A samanera named Sumana brought
water in that pot for the Buddha from Anotatta lake. (D.C.,
IV, P.135) She offered a water pot and a broom to the Buddha,
which he accepted and also instructed the bhikkhus to use them.
Once she went to the Buddha and offered a palm-leaf fan, which
he accepted (V.P., II, 129-130). Visakha was so very kind to
the bhikkhus that she built a mansion for them, The bhikkhus
at first hesitated to use it, but afterwards asked for Buddha's
permission which was granted. (V.P., II, 169).
once went to the hermitage of Khadiravaniyarevata, but she found
it to be in the midst of thorns and not fit for human habitation.
(D.C., II, 194-195). Visakha was an important personage, because
among the Bhikkhus if there were any matter for reference, it
was referred to her, as we find in the case of Kundadhanathera
who used to walk about with a woman behind him. (D.C.,111, 54-55.)
In the family of Visakha young girls used to serve the Bhikkhus
by making arrangements for their food, etc. (D.C., III, 161).
Visakha's son's daughter named Datta who was entrusted with
the care of the Bhikkhusamgha died in her absence. Visakha was
very much afflicted with grief. The Buddha, consoled her (D.C.,
was one day going to the city garden wearing all sorts of rich
ornaments amongst which may be mentioned mahalata, an ornament
of extraordinary beauty and of immense value. (Cf. Dhammapada
Commy., I, 412.) On the way she thought why should she go to
the city garden like a mere girl; it was better that she should
go to the Vihara and listen to the discourses of the Buddha.
Moved by the thought, she went to the Lord, put off her ornament,
mahalata and gave it to her maid-servant to keep it and return
it when she came out of the Vihara. Thereafter she listened
to the noble discourses of the Buddha. On coming out of the
Vihara, she asked for her ornament. The maid-servant said that
she had left it in the Vihara. Both of them returned to the
Vihara and found it. Visakha offered it to the Lord, and under
his directions built a Vihara with the sale proceeds of the
ornament, which amounted to nine crores and a lakh. Visakha
offered to her maid-servant all the merit that accrued for constructing
the Vihara. The latter approved of her charity and died shortly
afterwards. (Vimanavatthu Commy., pp.187-189.)
was the queen of the king of Ceylon. Surrounded by five hundred
girls, she bowed to the theras and honoured them to her heart's
content. Thera Mahinda preached dhamma to them. Peta stories,
Vimana stories and Saccasamyutta more narrated to them. When
they heard the most excellent portion of the doctrine, princess
Anula and her five hundred attendants attained sotapatti. She
became a believer in the Buddha, Dhamma and the Samgha. With
her five hundred attendants she received the Pabbajja ordination
from Samghamitta Mahatheri. (Dipavamsa, p.68; cf. Mahavamsa,
Geiger's Text, pp. 108, 155.)
was a Sakya princess. She was pleased with the Buddha, Dhamma
and Samgha. She used to observe precepts fully, became disgusted
with female life and meditated in order to become a man. (Digha
N., II, 271.)
came of a Brahman family. She earned her living by begging from
door to door. One day she came to the spot where Patacara had
just finished her meal. The bhikkhunis saw her hungry and gave
her some food to eat. She ate the food and took her seat on
one side. She then listened to the discourse of the Theri and
renounced the world. She practised hard to attain insight. Her
knowledge matured and her determination was strong. Hence she
succeeded in attaining arhatship with patisambhida (Th. Commy.,
came of a Brahman family at Savatthi. In her youth household
life became repugnant to her. She obtained her parents' consent
and entered the order under Mahapajapati Gotami. Thereafter
she could not for sometime control her mind from external interests.
Then the Master gave her suitable instructions, and she attained
arhatship together with patisambhida. (Th. Commy., pp. 157-159.)
came of a certain clansmen's family of Rajagaha. She was a friend
of Khema. When she heard that Khema, a king's consort, had renounced
the world, she went to Khema, who taught her the Norm and ordained
her. Very soon she won insight and after a short time attained
arhatship with analytical knowledge. (Th. Commy, pp.159-160.)
Mara came, to tempt her by saying, "You are young and beautiful,
I am also young and beautiful, let us enjoy ourselves with music."
She replied, "I find delight in rupa, sadda, gandha, etc.
and I don't like soft-touch. I hate very much my rotten body
which is easily destructible. My ignorance is dispelled."
Then Mara left her. (S.N., 1, pp. 130-131).
Upacala and Sisupacala were born in Magadha at the village
of Nalaka as the children of a Brahmani named Surupasari. They
were younger sisters of Sariputta. When they heard that their
brother had left the world for the order, they too renounced
the world and striving hard, attained arhatship. In vain Mara
tried to stir up sensual desires in them. (Th. Commy., 162-163;
cf. S.N., Pt. I, PP. 132-134).
came of a banker's family at Savatthi. Her skin was of the colour
of the heart (gabbha) of the blue lotus. Hence she was called
Uppalavanna. Many princes and banker's sons wanted to marry
her. But she renounced the world, went to the bhikkhunis and
was ordained. Thereafter one day she lighted a lamp, and by
continually contemplating on the flame of the lamp, she gradually
obtained arhatship with adhinna and patisambhida. (Th. Commy.,
182 ff.) She was assigned a chief place among those who had
the gift of iddhi. (Manorathapurani, p.207 ff.; Anguttara N.,
Samyutta Nikaya tells us that Theri Uppalavanna went to Andhavana
to meditate. There she sat at the foot of the Sala tree. Mara
came to her and said to her, "You are Sitting at the foot
of a fully blossomed Sala tree, are you not afraid of the wicked?"
She replied, "I do not care for the wicked. I do not care
for you." Mara left her. (Pt. 1, pp. 131-132). After defeating
Mara, Uppalavanna was molested by her maternal uncle's son Ananda,
who was enamoured of her beauty and who wanted to marry her.
Although Uppalavanna had become a bhikkhuni, Ananda could not
give up the desire of marrying her. Once Ananda concealed himself
in the room of the Theri under her bedstead in her absence.
When the Theri returned home and lay herself down on the bedstead,
Ananda suddenly came out and committed rape on her. The Theri
informed the bhikkhunis of this fact, and through the bhikkhunis
brought this to the notice of the Buddha, who prohibited the
bhikkhunis from living in forests. (D.C., II, 48-51.) Uppalavanna
Theri acquired the power of performing a miracle by coming in
to the presence of the Buddha to worship him with the pomp and
grandeur of an individual monarch, being surrounded by a retinue
extending over 36,000 yojanas and this miracle was visible to
an assembly extending over twelve yojanas. (D.C., III, P.211.)
came of a poor family of Savatthi. She was married to a basket
maker. She acquired great merit. One day while reflecting on
all she had suffered, she was much affected and her insight
quickening, she attained arhatship with analytical knowledge.
(Th. Commy., 28-30.)
or Punnika acquired great merit in her previous birth, but
owing to her pride she could not root out klesas (sins). She
was born of a domestic slave at Savatthi in the household of
Anathapindika, the banker. She obtained sotapattiphalam after
hearing the Sihanada Suttanta. Afterwards Anathapindika gave
her freedom because she defeated a Brahman named Udakasuddhika.
Punna renounced worldly life and entered the order. She practised
insight and very soon attained arhatship with patisambhida.
(Th. Commy., pp. 199 f.).
was born at Benares as the daughter of Sujata, a Brahman. On
her brother's death, her father became overwhelmed with grief.
With the advice of Theri Vasitthi her father renounced the world,
met the Buddha at Mithila, entered the order and in course of
time attained arhatship. Sundari heard of her father's renouncing
the world. She sacrificed all her wealth and pleasures of all
kinds. She secured her mother's consent to leave the world.
She then entered the order and striving hard she attained arhatship
with patisambhida (Th. Commy., 228 f.).
was born at Vesali as the daughter of a public woman. When advanced
in years she was moved to see one day the venerable Mahamoggallana
going about for alms. She went to his house to entice him. Mahamoggallana
rebuked her. She was ashamed and became a believer and lay sister.
Sometime affer she entered the order and very soon attained
arhatship. (Th. Commy., 76-77.)
came of a Brahman's family in the town of Kammasadamma in the
kingdom of the Kurus. When she grew up she one day heard the
teaching of the Great Discourse on the Mahasatipatthana and
entered the order of sisters. For seven years she could not
elevate herself intellectually. Later on she won arhatship together
with analytical knowledge. (Th. Commy., pp. 89-90).
(Pakula) was born in a Brahman family at Savatthi. Seeing
the Master accepting the gift of the Jetavana, she became a
believer. One day she heard the preaching of an arhat and was
greatly convinced. She entered the order, strove hard for insight
and soon won arhatship. She was given the foremost place by
the Master among the bhikkhunis possessing divine eyes. (Th.
Commy., pp. 91 f.; cf. Manorathapurani, pp. 219-220; cf. Anguttara
N., I, 25.)
a female devotee living in Nalanda used to serve the bhikkhus
with the four requisites and used to observe the precept and
uposatha with perfect regularity. She meditated on the four
noble truths and attained sotapatti. (Vide my work, Heaven and
a poor woman living at Savatthi in Benares not finding anything
to offer, presented some rotten cooked rice without salt to
the Buddha who accepted it. (Ibid., p.63).
came of a rich Brahman family of Savatthi. When she was twenty
years old, she went to Mahapajapati the Gotami and got ordination
from her. She was practising kammatthana and she was instructed
by the Buddha to get herself free from all bonds. Afterwards
she became an arhat. (Th. Commy., pp.8-9.)
was the daughter of a leading burgess of Savatthi, When she
was about twenty years of age, she heard the great Pajapati
teach the doctrine, and renounced the world. She practised insight,
being encouraged by the Master. In due course she attained arhatship.
(Th. Commy., pp. 9-10.)
came of a purohita's family at Kosala. When she came of age,
she acquired faith in the Buddha in the Jetavana, and later
entered the order under Mahapajapati Gotami at Rajagaha. While
staying at Rajagaha, she climbed the Vulture's Peak after her
meal, and while resting she developed insight and soon obtained
arhatship with analytical knowledge. (Th. Commy., pp. 51-52.)
was the nurse of Mahapajapati Gotami. When her mistress renounced
the world, she followed her. For twenty-five years she was harassed
by the lusts of the senses and failed to acquire concentration
of mind. One day she heard Dhammadinna preach the Norm. She
then began to practise meditation. Very soon she acquired the
six supernatural powers. (Th. Commy., 75-76).
came of a householder family at Bandhumati. When she grew old,
she heard Patacara preach and entered the order. When Patacara
gave her admonition, she was established in insight and very
soon won arhatship. (Th. Commy., pp. 47-48). Thirty sisters
born in different families of different places heard Patacara
preach and were converted by her and entered the order. They
practised insight and in course of time they won arhatship with
patisambhida. (Th. Commy., pp.118-120.)
came of a certain clansmen's family at Savatthi. When grown
up she heard Patacara preach the Norm. She became a believer,
entered the Order and became an arhat. (Th. Commy, pp.161-162.)
was a theri who was 120 years old. She went to beg for alms.
Once, while going for alms, she met the Buddha on the way and
when going to salute him, she fell down. The Buddha delivered
a sermon to her, and she having attained the first stage of
sanctification died. (D.C., vol. III, p.110.)
was the maid servant of Samavati, queen of King Udena of Kosambi.
Her daily duty was to buy flowers from Sumana, a garland-maker
for eight kahapanas. Once the Buddha together with the bhikkhusamgha
was invited to take meals in Sumana's house. Khujjuttara waited
on her and heard the sermon delivered by the Buddha. She obtained
sotapattiphalam after hearing the sermon. In former days she
used to steal four kahapanas out of eight kahapanas given to
her by her mistress for buying flowers. After having obtained
sotapattiphalam she brought flowers to the value of eight kahapanas.
She confessed her guilt when asked why she brought such a large
quantity of flowers. She told Samavati that she had acquired
knowledge and came to realise that stealing things is a sin
committed by a person who listened to the Buddha's sermon. Samavati
after listening to the dhamma repeated by her obtained sotapattiphalam.
She was well versed in Tripitaka. (D.C., I, pp.208 f.)
was an upaisika of the Buddha. She was the queen of King Uggasena.
A king promised to the deity of a nigrodha tree that he would
worship the deity with the blood of one hundred kings of Jambudipa
if he got the throne after his father's death. He then defeated
all the kings gradually and went to worship the deity, but the
deity, seeing that many kings would be killed, being compassionate
to them, refused his worship on the ground that the queen of
King Uggasena whom he had defeated was not brought. The king
had her brought, and she preached a sermon on the avoidance
of life--slaughter in their presence. The deity approved and
the king refrained from life-slaughter, and released the defeated
and captured kings, who praised Dinna for this act. It was due
to her that so many kings were saved. (D.C., II, p.15 f.)
came of a clansmen's family at Savatthi. In course of time,
after marriage, she became the mother of ten sons and was known
as Bahuputtika. The Dhammapada Commy. says that she had seven
sons and seven daughters (D.C., II, pp.276--278). On her husband
renouncing the world she divided all her riches equally between
her sons. In a very short time her sons and daughters-in-law
ceased to show respect. She then entered the Order of the bhikkhunis
and began to practise insight strenuously in her old age. The
master gave her suitable instructions. Sona Bhikkhuni then attained
arhatship. (Th. Commy,, 95.) She occupied the foremost place
among the bhikkhunis, making great exertion (Manorathapurani,
218-219; cf. A.N., I, 125).
Kundalakesa came of the family of a banker at Rajagaha.
When grown up, she one day saw Satthuka, the purohita's son,
being led to execution by the city guard. She fell in love with
him at first sight. She resolved to die if she did not get him.
Her father heard of this and got Satthuka released by bribing
the guard heavily. Satthuka was brought to Bhadda, who, decked
in jewels, waited upon him. He saw her jewels and coveted them.
He told Bhadda to get ready an offering to be given to the cliff
deity. Bhadda did so. She adorned herself with all her jewels
and accompanied her husband to the precipice with an offering.
On reaching the top of the precipice, Satthuka told her to put
off all her ornaments which he had come there to take. In vain
Bhadda pleaded that She herself and all her ornaments belonged
to him. Satthuka did not take any notice of her pleadings. He
wanted all her ornaments. Bhadda then prayed for an embrace
with all her jewels on.
granted her prayer. Bhadda embraced him in front and then, as
if embracing him from the back, pushed him over the precipice.
Satthuka died (cf. Dhammapada Commy., vol. II, pp.217 f.). Thereafter
Bhadda did not come home, but she left the world and entered
the Order of the Niganthas. She learnt the doctrine of the Niganthas
and left their company. Thereafter she found no one equal to
her in debate. She setup the branch of a jambu tree on a heap
of sand at the gate of some village or town, with the declaration
that any body able to join issue with her in debate should trample
on this bough. Sariputta ordered some children who were near
the bough, to trample on it. The children did so. When Bhadda
saw the bough trampled, she challenged Sariputa to a debate
before some Sakyan recluses and was advised to go to Buddha
for refuge. She went to the Buddha who discerned the maturity
of her knowledge. Buddha spoke a verse and she attained arhatship
with analytical knowledge. (Th. Commy., pp. 99f.) Bhadda was
assigned a chief place among the bhikkhunis possessing ready
wit. (Manorathapurani, p. 375; cf. Anguttara Nikaya, I, 25.)
came of a rich householder's family at Kosambi. She was moved
by the death of her dear friend, the lay-disciple Samavati.
One day she listened to Elder Ananda preaching and acquired
insight. On the seventh day after this she attained arhatship
with a thorough grasp of the Dhamma in form and meaning. (Th.
Sama who came of a clansmen's family at Kosambi, was
a friend of Samavati, whose death afflicted her so much that
she could not gain self-control for twenty-five years. In her
old age she heard a sermon through which her insight expanded
and she won arhatship with patisambhida (analytical knowledge).
(Th. Commy., 45-46.)
came of the family of a rich house- holder at Savatthi. She
was very beautiful, and was brought to the palace by the king
of Kosala. A few years later a daughter was born to her. This
daughter was named Jiva. The king saw the child and was very
much pleased. He then had Ubbiri anointed as queen. After a
few years Jiva died. The mother used to go to the cemetery and
shed tears. Questioned by the Exalted One as to why she was
weeping, she said that she was sheding tears for her deceased
daughter. She was questioned by the Exalted One as to which
of the 84,000. daughters she was weeping for. She then spent
a little thought and intelligence over the Norm thus taught
by the Buddha. She was established in insight, and in due course
she won arhatship by virtue of great merits. (Th. Commy.,53-54).
came of poor family at Savatthi. She was married to a rich banker's
son who had forty crores of wealth. (D.C., II., pp. 270-75).
Bodhisatta was her maternal uncle's son. One day, while the
Bodhisatta was returning home after receiving the news of Rahula's
birth, he was seen by Kisagotami from her palace. Buddha's beauty
pleased Kisagotami so much that she uttered a stanza, the purport
of which is, "the mother who has such a child and the father
who has such a son and the wife who has such a husband are surely
happy" (nibbuta), but the Bodhisatta took the word nibbuta
in the sense of nibbanam. The Bodhisatta presented her with
a pearl necklace for making him hear such auspicious and sacred
words. (D.C., vol. I, p. 85; cf. Atthasalini, p. 34.) On the
death of her only child she went to the Buddha with the dead
body and requested him to bring the dead to life. Buddha asked
her to bring a little mustard seed from a house where no man
had died. Kisagotami went from house to house, but she came
back to Buddha quite unsuccessful. The Buddha delivered a sermon
which led her to become a bhikkhuni. Her insight grew within
a short time and she attained arhatship. (Th. Commy., 174 f.).
Then the master assigned her the foremost place among the bhikkhunis
who used very rough and simple robes. (A.N., 1, p.25; cf.,Manoratha;
Kisagotami went to Andhavana to meditate. Mara, came to her
and said," You have killed your sons and now you are crying.
Why are you not searching for another man? " Kisagotami
replied, "I have completely destroyecl my sons and my husband
and I have no sorrow. I am not afraid of you, my attachment
is destroyed and ignorance is dispelled. Killing the army of
death I live sinless." Mara then left her. (S.N., I, pp.129-130).
Once Kisagotami was coming through the sky to worship the Buddha
while Sakka with his retinue was seated before the Buddha. She
did not come to the Buddha, but worshipped him from the sky
and went away. Being questioned by Sakka, the Buddha answered
that she was his daughter. Kisagotami, who was the foremost
among the bhikkhunis, used very rough and simple robes. (D.C.,IV,
came of a banker's family at Savatthi. In her youth she formed
an intimacy with a servant of her house. On the day fixed for
her marriage with another youth of equal rank she eloped with
her lover and dwelt in a hamlet. There she used to perform household
duties, and her lover used to bring wood from the forest and
work in a field belonging to others. Shortly afterwards Patacara
gave birth to a child, but at the time of the birth of her second
child, a storm arose. Her husband went to a forest to cut grass
and sticks. While he cut a stake standing on an ant-hill, a
snake came from the ant-hill and bit him. He fell there and
died. The next morning Patacara went to the forest with her
two children and found her husband dead. She lamented and left
the place. On her way to her father's house there was a river,
the water of which was knee-deep. She lost her children while
crossing the river. With tears of grief she came to Savatthi
and learnt that her parents and brother had perished under the
debris of the fallen house. She turned mad. Since then she did
not wear clothing, and was therefore known as Patacara. One
day the Exalted One saw her in that plight and said, "Sister!
Cover your shamelessness." She regained her consciousness,
and the Lord taught her that sons, parents and kinsfolk were
no shelter, and asked her to discern this truth in order to
make clear quickly the way to nibbana. Then she was established
in the sotapattiphalam. She attained arhatship with analytical
knowledge (Th. Commy., p.108 f; Manorathapurani, pp.356-360;
cf. A.N., I, 25) Thereafter she preached the Buddha's dhamma
and converted many afflicted women to the Buddhist faith.
Therigatha Commy. says that Patacara had five hundred female
disciples, who came of different families of different places.
They were married, bore children and lived domestic lives. Overwhelmed
with grief at the loss of children they went to Patacara, who
asked them not to weep when the manner of birth and death was
unkown to them. They were greatly moved by Patacara's teachings
and renounced the world under her. They performed exercises
for insight and soon became established in arhatship with patisambhida.
(Th. Commy., pp. 122-123; cf. Dhammapada Commy., II, p.260 f.)
came of a clansmen's family at Vaisali. Her parents gave her
in marriage to a clansman's son of equal position. She had a
son. When the child was able to run about, he died. Vasitthi
went mad with grief. She came to Mithila and there she saw the
Exalted One, self-controlled and self-contained. At the sight
of the Buddha the frenzy left her and she recovered her normal
mind. The master taught her the outlines of the Norm. Performing
all proper duties, she acquired insight, and struggling with
the help of full Knowledge, she soon attained arhatship together
with a thorough grasp of the Norm in form and spirit. (Th. Commy.,
came of a clansmen's family at Rajagaha and became the wife
of a Setthi named Visakha. One day her husband heard the master
teaching, and after hearing him he did not hold converse with
her as he used to do before, but renounced the worldly life.
Dhammadinna too became a bhikkhuni and took up her residence
in a village. One of the great merits acquired in her previous
births was her subjugation of the complexities of thought, word
and deed. By virtue of this merit, she soon attained arhatship
together with thorough mastery of the form and meaning of the
Dhamma. Then she returned to Rajagaha and was questioned by
her husband on the khandas and the like. She answered so correctly
that she was praised by the Buddha and was ranked as foremost
among the sisters who could preach. (Th. Commy., 15; cf. Manorathpurani,
pp. 360-363; Anjuttara N., I, 25.)
came of a respectable family at Savatthi. Given in marriage
to a suitable husband, she became converted. On her husband's
death, she entered the Order. In due course she won arhatship
with thorough knowledge of the Norm in form and meaning. (Th.
was the daughter of a rich Brahman of Rajagaha. She climbed
a hill and lived like a recluse. She acquired insight and within
a short time won arhatship (Th. Commy., p.35).
came of a respectable family at Ujjain. She was a friend of
Abhayamata. She followed her in renouncing the world, and entered
the Order. In course of time she attained arhatship at Rajagaha.
(Th. Commy., 41-43.)
was born at Rajagaha as the daughter of the purohita of King
Bimbisara. When advanced in years she became a lay disciple.
Afterwards she entered the order of the bhikkhunis. She performed
exercises of insight and within a short time won arhatship.
Mara tried in vain to divert her from this path. From the Samyutta
Nikaya we learn that Mara came to her and said,"What is
to be obtained by the Rishis, you are, with slight wisdom, trying
to have it. That which is difficult to be obtained by great
sages, you being a silly woman, want to have." She replied:
" If my mind is steadfast, I must acquire it, my womanly
nature will not prevent me from acquiring it." Mara then
left her. (Th. Commy., pp. 66-67; cf. S.N., 1, p.129.)
Kapilani came of a Brahman family of the Kosiya clan at
Sagala. She was married to a young noble Pippali at the village
of Mahatittha. When her husband renounced the world, she made
over her wealth to her kinsfolk. She then left the world and
dwelt five years in the hermitage of the heretics. Thereafter,
she was ordained by Mahapajapati Gotami. Establishing insight
she soon won arhatship. By the master she was ranked first among
the bhikkhunis who could remember previous births (Th. Commy.,
67 f.; cf. Manorathapurani, p.375; cf. Anguttara N., I, p.25).
the women who embraced a homeless life and became bhikkhunis
and theris, there were others who were staunch believers in
the Buddha's dhamma. These women used to lead a domestic life,
offering charities in the shape of coin and kind to theras,
bhikkhunis and bhikkhus in the expectation of a happier rebirth
or for the benefit of departed relations. The incidents in the
life of some of these women are recorded in the Buddhist literature,
and it would not be out of place here to mention them below.
daughter of Nandaka, Commander-in-chief of Pingala, king of
Surattha, was a believer in the Buddha. She used to offer to
a saintly thera cold and perfumed drink as well as excellent
cake and sweets for the benefit of her departed father. (Vide
my Buddhist Conception of Spirits, p.48).
lived near one of the gates of Benares. She used to offer a
spoonful of rice to the bhikkhus when they entered the town
by that gate. Thus she acquired the habit of offering charity.
In the asanasala (rest house), she used to prepare seats for,
and supply water to, the bhikkhus. She was established in sotapatti.
After death she was reborn in the Tavatimsa heaven. (Vide my
Heaven and Hell, p.50.)
daughter of a certain upasaka of Rajagaha was very much
devoted to Mahamoggallana. One day she welcomed a thera, offered
him a seat, worshipped him with a garland of sumana flower and
gave him sweets, etc. On her death, she was reborn in the Tavatimsa
heaven. (Vimanavatthu Commy., 179-179.)
was the daughter of a Brahman steward of the Sakya Mahanaman.
On her father's death she was taken by Mahanaman to his house.
She was at first named Chandra. She made a wreath which satisfied
Mahanaman so much that he changed her name to Mallika. One day
Mallika went to the garden with her food, and just then the
Blessed One passed them collecting alms. Mallika thought of
offering her food to the Buddha, and the latter knowing her
thought held out his bowl. She put her offering in it and wished
at the same time that some day she might be free from slavery
or poverty. One day Pasenadi carried away by his horse in the
heat of the chase came to Mahanaman's garden. There he saw Mallika.
Re- quested by the king, Mallika rubbed his feet with a towel.
As soon as she did so the king fell asleep. When he awoke he
found out who she was, went to Mahanaman and married her. She
was then taken to Sravasti and in time she brought forth a son
named Virudhaka (Rockhill, Life of the Buddha, pp, 75-77), and
also a daughter. (S.N., I, p. 86). This story is nothing but
a Tibetan version of the story of Pasenadi and Vasabhakhattiya.
Cf. Svapnavasabhadatta of Bhasa.
we read that Mallikadevi went to the Buddha and asked him thus,
"What is the cause of a woman's getting an ugly appearance,
bad habit, wretched state and poverty in this world? What is
the cause of a woman who is of this nature becoming very rich
and influential? What is the cause of a woman who is of good
appearance and lovely becoming poor and uninfluential, and vice
versa? "The Buddha answered thus: " The woman who
is very hot-tempered and who gets angry for slight reason becomes
poor and ugly if she does not offer any charity to the Samanas
or Brahmanas, but if she offers charity to the Samanas or Brahamanas,
she becomes rich and influential alth- ough she is hot-tempered."
The Buddha further said "She who is not hot-tempered and
does not become angry for slight reason becomes poor and influential
if she does not offer any charity to the Samanas or Brahmanas."
Mallika admitted that on account of her hot-temper and peevish
nature she had an ugly appearance, but she, on account of her
previous charities, became a queen. She further said that she
would treat properly the daughter of the Ksatriyas, the Brahmanas
and the other householders who were subordinate to her. She
became a devotee of the Buddha, being very pleased with him.
(Anguttara Nikaya, II, pp. 202-205).
is noteworthy that once Mallika was asked by Pasenadi whether
she had anybody dearer to her than her own soul. She replied
in the negative. Pasenadi was asked the same question by his
wife, and he too answered it in the negative. She then went
to the Buddha and related the matter to him. The Buddha said
that they were right in holding that there was nothing more
favourite than one's own soul. (Udana, p.47;cf. also S.N., 1,
p.75.) Once Pasenadi invited Buddha to teach Dhamma to queens
Mallika and Vasabhakhattiya as they were desirous of learning
it. Buddha asked the king to engage Ananda for the purpose as
it was not possible for him to go every day. Mallikadevi learnt
it thoroughly, but Vasabhakhattiya was not so mindful of learning
Dhamma. (D.C., 1, 382). It was Mallika who saved the life of
many living beings who were brought for sacrifice to save Pasenadi
from the evil effect of hearing four horrible sounds at midnight
by inducing him to go to the Buddha to take instructions from
him. (D.C. vol. II, pp. 7-8). After her death, Mallikadevi had
to suffer in the Avici hell because she deceived her husband
by telling a lie about her misconduct. (D.C., III, 119f.).
made the following arrangements on the occasion of Pasenadi's
offering a unique gift to the Buddha and the bhikkhus:
She made a canopy with Sala wooden parts, under which five
hundred bhikkhus could sit within the parts and five hundred
Five hundred white umbrellas were raised by five hundred elephants
standing at the back of five hundred bhikkhus.
Golden boats were placed in the middle of the pandal, and
each Khattiya, daughter threw scents standing in the midst
of the two bhikkhus.
Each Khattiya princess fanned standing in the midst of two
Golden boats were filled with scents and perfumes. (D.C.,
III., pp. 184 f.)
daughter of queen Mallika was also named Mallika. She was
the wife of General Bandhula. She was childless for a long time.
Bandhula sent her to her father's house. On the way she went
to the Jetavana to salute the Buddha who was informed by her
that her husband was sending her home as she was childless.
The Buddha asked her to go to her husband's house. Bandhula
was informed of this fact and thought that the Buddha must have
got the idea that she would be pregnant. The sign of pregnancy
was visible in her, and she desired to drink water and bathe
in the well-guarded tank of the Licchavis. Bandhula with his
wife visited the tank and he made his wife bathe and drink water
therefrom. (D.C., I, pp. 349-351.) Mallika, wife of Bandhula,
and daughter of a Malla king of Kusinara, offered worship to
the relic of the Buddha with plenty of perfumes and garlands
and also an ornament named mahalata which was very valuable.
In consequence of this, she, after death, was reborn in the
Tavatimsa heaven where she was bedecked all in yellow. (Vimanavatthu
was a bhikkuni who was tempted by Mara when she went to Andhavana
to meditate. Mara came to her and asked her, " Who has
created the being? Wherefrom it has come, and. where will it
go?" She said, "The aggregation of five khandhas constitutes
the sattas." Mara then left her. (Samyutta Nikaya, I, PP.
bhikkhuni was given a robe by an upasika of the Buddha.
This message was declared by a Yakkha in the streets of Rajagaha
saying that the giver by giving a robe to Cira who was free
from fetters, could acquire much merit. (Samyutta Nikaya, I,
and her husband were serving a banker at Rajagaha. Once the
banker went to attend a famous ceremony, and Uttttra with her
husband was at home. The husband of Uttara went to cultivate
in the morning. Uttara was going with cooked food to her husband
in the field. On the way she met Sariputta who was just rising
up from nirodha-samapatti (meditation on cessrttion) and offered
the food to him, with the result that she became the richest
lady of Rajagaha, and her husband became a banker named Mahadhanasetthi.
(D.C., III, pp. 302 f.)
was the maid-servant of a banber of Savatthi. Once she was asked
to husk a large quantity of paddy. While engaged in husking
the paddy at night, she went outside the house to take rest.
At this time Dabba, a Mallian, was in charge of making arrangements
for the sleeping accommodation of the bhikkhus who were guests.
Punna with some cakes went out to enquire of the cause of their
movements with lights at night. The Buddha went out for alms
by the way in which Punna was. She offered all the cakes to
the Buddha without keeping any for herself. The Buddha accepted
them. Punna was thinking whether Buddha would partake of her
food. The Buddha did partake of it in her house. The effect
of this offer was that Punna obtained sotapattiphalam where
the offer was made. (D.C., III, pp. 321 f.)
was Anuruddha's sister. She was suffering from white leprosy.
She did not go to her brother as she was suffering. Anuruddha
sent for her and asked her to build a rest- house for bhikkhus
to get rid of her sin. She kept the rest-house clean even when
if was under construction, and she did this with great devotion
for a long time. She became free from her disease. Shortly afterwards
the Buddha went to Kapilavatthu and sent for Rohini. The Buddha
told her that she was the queen of the king of Benares in her
former birth. The king was enamoured of the beauty of a dancing
girl. The queen knowing this, became jealous of her, and to
punish her she put something in her cloth and bathing water
which produced terrible itching all over her body. On account
of this sin, she got this disease. She obtained sotapattiphalam
and the colour of her body became golden. (D.C., III, pp. 295
a daughter of a Koliyan was pregnant for seven years, but she
did not give birth to any child. After seven years, labour pain
began and she sufffered terribly for seven days, but no child
was born. She requested her husband to go to the Buddha and
to salute him on her behalf, reporting the matter to him. Her
husband went to the Buddha and informed him. The Buddha desired
that Suppavasa would give birth to a son without any pain and
disease. While the Buddha was expressing this desire, a son
was born. Her husband was sent again to invite the Buddha to
her house for seven days. The Buddha accepted the invitation.
The Master took his meal there for seven days and converted
both of them (Udana, pp. 15-17; Cf, D.C., IV, 192-193). Suppavasa
used to give alms daily to five hundred bhikkhus. (Dhamapada
Commy.,1, 339.) She became the foremost of the upasikas, offering
the best food to the Buddha. Buddha told her the good effect
of offering food, and he further said that an offerer by offering
rice offers the lease of life, beauty, happiness and strength.
The offerer in return obtains celestial life, celestial beauty,
happiness and strength. (Anguttara Nikaya, II, pp. 62-63).
bhikkhuni of some repute was Nakulamata. When her husband
was ill and was ready to die, free from anxiety, she told him
that she knew spinning and weaving and management of household
affairs and children. She also told her husband that she would
never remarry after his death, as both of them lived the life
of a recluse for sixteen years. She informed her husband that
after his death she would meet the Buddha and the bhikkhusamgha.
She also promised to observe the precepts. She also told her
husband that she was one of the female devotees who fully observed
the precepts, controlled the mind, had strong faith in the Buddha,
Dhamma and Samgha, and who became fearless and did not depend
on others except the Buddha for support. (A.N., III, 295 f.)
was a devotee who approached the Buddha, who preached to her
the reward of observing the precepts and the Sabbath. The Master
said to her. "Happiness obtained by observing Sabbath is
sixteen times greater than that enjoyed by the sixteen countries."
(A.N., IV, pp.259-260.)
Nandamata was a devotee of the Buddha. She gave offerings
to Sariputta and Moggallana. Referring to this the Buddha said,
"A giver must be pleased before he gives dana; his mind
must be pleased while giving dana and after giving dana. The
receiver of the offering must be free from passion, hatred and
delusion. The consequence of such a gift is immeasurable".
Nandamata gave such a gift to Sariputta and Moggallana, and
she obtained immeasurable consequence of the gift. (A.N., III,
was another bhikkhuni named Nandamata who was once repeating
the Parayana Sutta of the Sutta Nipata in a sweet voice. King
Vessavana was going from north to south, and he waited there
till Nandamata finished her repetition and praised her much.
Nandamata told Vessavans that the merit acquired by the act
would he beneficial to him. Vessavana gladly assented and said
that the merit which would be acquired by her through the gift
made to Sariputta and Moggallana would prove beneficial to him.
(A. N., IV, p.63 f.)
was an upasika who went to Ananda and said, "According
to the instruction of the Buddha, a brahmacari and an abrahamacari
go to the same place after death and enjoy the same amount of
happiness." Ananda went to the Buddha to have this problem
solved. The Buddha said that the lay devotee was ignorant and
uneducated and therefore she could not realize it properly.
The Buddha further said, "Even a householder may acquire
the same amount of merit as acquired by a brahmacari who does
not fulfil his duties properly."
a bhikkhuni, was asked by her husband about sakkayaditthi, sakkayanirodha,
ariyatthangikamaggo, samkhara, nirodhasamapatti, manner of rising
up from nirodhasamapatti and vedana. Dhammadina gave satisfactory
answers to all the questions. She said, "Five upadana khandhas
constitute, sakkayaditthi. Tanha means sakkaya samudayo. Destruction
of tanha means sakkaya nirodha. The noble eight-fold path is
the means of attaining sakkayanirodha. Ignorant people take
the five upadana khandhas jointly and separately as atta (soul);
the learned and noble disciples do not take them in this sense.
Those who obtain nirodha samapatti are stopped one after another.
The three kinds of vedana are sukha, dukkha and adukkhamasukha
(M.N., 1., 299 f.)
was an Upasika named Suyata who destroyed three bonds
and obtained the first stage of sanctification. (S.N., V, p.356.)
sister of the king of Kosala, was a bhikkhuni. While going through
the sky at night she instructed Kalasoka and bhikkhusamgha to
purify bhikkhusamgha by driving out had bhikkhus and protecting
good bhikkhus (Sasanavamsa, p.6).
was another woman named Nanda who was the wife of a householder
named Nandasena who lived in a certain village near Savatthi.
She had no faith in the Buddha. Sho was very hot-tempered and
used to abuse her husband, father-in-law and mother-in-law.
On her death she became a peti. One day she appeared before
her husband and gave him an account of her past misdeeds. The
husband made gifts for her sake to the bhikkhus, and Nanda was
released from her miseries. (P.D. on the Petavathu, pp. 89-92.)
was the daughter of a householder of Benares. She had no faith
in the Buddha, and was very uncharitable. For some days she
was forced by her parents to do meritorious deeds in order to
win Nandiya, a neighbour's son, as her husband. After marriage,
Nandiya made her follow him in his meritorious deeds. Thereafter
Nandiya had to go abroad. He asked his wife to continue all
the meritorious deeds. Revati did so for seven days. Then she
stopped all meritorious deeds and began to abuse the bhikkhus
who had come to her house for alms. Nandiya, on his return,
found that all his acts of charity had been discontinued. After
death Revati became a hellish creature. On his death Nandiya
became a devata. He saw with his divine eyes that Revati had
become a hellish creature. He then went to her and asked her
to approve of the meritorious acts done by him. As soon as she
did so, she became a devata and resided with Nandiya in heaven.
(B.C. Law, Buddhist Conception of Spirits, p.79.)
was the queen of king Udena of Kosambi. The harem containing
Samavati with 500 female attendants was burnt while Udena was
in the royal garden. The matter was referred to the Buddha,
who said, " Each upasika had gone according to her kamma,
some have become sotapanna sakadagami and anagami and so forth
was a maid-servant named Birani engaged by Asoka Brahmana
to give food daily to the samgha which was enough for eight
bhikkhus. This she used to do with devotion, with the result
that after her death she was born in avimana in the sky. (Mahavamsa,
was Buddha's step-sister. She thought that her eldest brother
renounced the world and had become a Buddha. Her younger brother
Nanda was a bhikkhu and Rahulakumara had obtained ordination.
Her husband too became a bhikkhu and her mother, Mahapajapatigotami,
became a bhikkhuni. She renounced the world thinking that so
many of her relatives had renounced the world. she did not go
before the Buddha as she was proud of her beauty, while the
Buddha used to preach the impermanency and worthlessness of
form. The other bhikkhunis and bhikkhus always used to praise
the Buddha in her presence and tell her that all having different
tastes became blessed by seeing the Buddha.
thought of going to the Buddha with other bhikkhunis but she
would not show herself to the Buddha. Ananda came to know that
Nanda had come with the bhikkhunis. The Buddha desired to lower
her pride in her beauty by showing the bad effect of it. By
his miraculous power the Buddha created a most beautiful girl
who was engaged in fanning the Buddha. Nanda seeing her beauty
found out that her own beauty was much inferior. The girl was
seen gradually attaining youth, the state of a mother of a child
and then old age and disease and death. Nanda, seeing this,
gave up her pride in her beauty and came to realize the impermanence
of beauty. The Buddha, knowing the state of her mind, delivered
a suitable sermon and she became an arhat after hearing it.
(D.C., 111, pp. 113 f.)
Center for Buddhist Studies, National Taiwan University,