Aṅguttara Nikāya

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I. Ekanipāta

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
More-Numbered Suttas

Part I
The Book of the Ones

Suttas 235-247

Translated from the Pali by
F.L. Woodward, M.A.

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(e) Women disciples.

[235][olds] 'Monks, chief among my women disciples,
who are nuns of long standing,
is Great Pajāpatī the Gotamid.[94]

[236][olds] 'Monks, chief among my women disciples
who are nuns of great wisdom,
is Khemā.[95]

[237][olds] 'Monks, chief among my women disciples
of supernormal powers,
is Uppalavaṇṇā.[96]

[238][olds] 'Monks, chief among my women disciples
proficient in the rules of discipline,
is Paṭacārā.[97]

[239][olds] 'Monks, chief among my women disciples
among Dhamma-teachers,
is Dhammadinnā.[98]

[240][olds] 'Monks, chief among my women disciples
of meditative powers,
is Nandā.[99]

[241][olds] 'Monks, chief among my women disciples
who strive energetically,
is Soṇā.[100]

[242][olds] 'Monks, chief among my women disciples
who are clairvoyant,
is Sakulā.[101]

[243][olds] [22] 'Monks, chief among my women disciples
quick to win abnormal powers,
is Bhaddā of the curly hair.[102]

[244][olds] 'Monks, chief among my women disciples
able to remember past births,
is Bhaddā of the Kapilās.[103]

[245][olds] 'Monks, chief among my women disciples
of those who attained great supernormal powers,
is Bhaddā Kaccāna.[104]

[246][olds] 'Monks, chief among my women disciples
of the wearers of coarse robes,
is Gotamī the Lean.[105]

[247][olds] 'Monks, chief among my women disciples
of those released by faith,
is Sigāla's mother.[106]


[94] Cf. Sisters, 87; A. iv, 274, 358; Vin. ii, 253; Ap. 529. Aunt to the Buddha and his foster mother. One of the wives of Suddhodana, she was the foundress of the Order of Nuns. In the past she was one of the seven sisters, daughters of Kiki, rājah of Benares (Kāsī).

[95] Cf. Sisters, 81; Ap. 543. Often of royal birth in the past, she was, in this life wife of the rājah Bimbisāra, famous for her beauty, and was converted by the Master, who conjured up a māyā of a lovely nymph, by which he showed the process of decay.

[96] Cf. Sisters, 111; Ap. 551. Her body was said to resemble in hue the matrix of a blue lotus.

[97] Cf. Sisters, 73; Ap. 557. She was Vinaya-piṭake ciṇṇa vasī (adept), and had many women disciples.

[98] Cf. Sisters, 16; M. i, 299 (Culla-vedalla-sutta); Ap. 567.

[99] Cf. Sisters, 55; Ap. 572. She was called Sundarī Nandā or Janapada-kalyāṇī, 'the fairest lady in the land.' Like Khemā she was converted by the Master by a māyā (? the Abhirūpa-Nandā of Ap. 608.)

[100] Cf. Sisters, 61; Ap. 576. The Master appeared before her in māyāvi-rūpa and repeated Dhp. v, 115; whereupon she won Arahantship.

[101] Cf. Sisters, 60; M. ii, 125; Ap. 569. By Dhammapāla she is called Pakulā, and Bakulā in Burmese MSS. of our Comy.

[102] Cf. Sisters, 63; Ap. 560. Having entered the sect of the Jain Nigaṇṭhās, she had her hair torn out. It grew again in thick curls. Hence her name (Kuṇḍala-kesā). Dissatisfied with their lack of wisdom she left the Jains, and on attaining Arahantship entered the Order.

[103] Cf. Sisters, 47; Ap. 578 (Kāpilānī). Daughter of the brāhmin Kapila. (acc. to Apadāna), and ordained by Mahāpajāpatī.

[104] Burmese MSS. read Kañcanā. Comy. says she was so called from her golden hue, and afterwards called Kaccānā. She was mother (Yasodharā) of Gotama's son Rāhula, but this name is not mentioned here, nor is there reference to her in Therīgatā, or Apadāna (there is one of this name at Ap. 684). It is noticeable that in the above list of the monks none has such a title. Comy. says: 'Of one Buddha four disciples only have great abnormal powers. The remainder can recall 100,000 kalpas, not beyond that: but those who have attained great abnormal powers can recall incalculable eras. Under our Teacher's rule the two Great Disciples and the elder Bakkula and Bhaddā Kaccānā., just these four, had this power' (Bakkula, however, in the list above is only credited with good health).

[105] Cf. Sisters, 106; Ap. 564: 'Of the Gotamas.' The story of her dead child and the grain of mustard seed she sought in vain from house to house is well known. Cf. DhpA. ii, 270; SA. on S. i, 129.

[106] Burmese MSS. Pingala-. Not mentioned in Sisters. She was just called Sigāla's mother. In Ap. ii, 603 she is called Singālaka- and Sigālaka-mātā.

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