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Bhadda Kundalakesa

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Bhadda 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.

Satthuka 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 Arahantship 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.)

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