Sela 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 Arahantship. 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.

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