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Personalities of the Buddhist Suttas


[244] At the top, Beggars, of those of my Female Beggars who is able to recall prior habitations (pubbenivasam anussarantinam) is Bhadda-kapilani.


(DPPN: The daughter of a Kosiyagotta brahmin of Sagala, in the Madda country. When the messengers sent by the parents of Pipphali-manava (Maha Kassapa) were wandering about seeking for a wife for him to resemble the image they carried with them, they discovered Bhadda and informed Pipphali's parents. The parents arranged the marriage without the knowledge of the young people and Bhadda went to Pipphali's house. There they lived together, but, by mutual consent, the marriage was never consummated. It was said that she brought with her, on the day of her marriage, fifty thousand cartloads of wealth. When Pipphali desired to leave the world, making over to her his wealth, she wished to renounce it likewise, and together they left the house in the guise of recluses, their hair shorn, unobserved by any. In the village, however, they were recognized by their gait, and the people fell down at their feet. They granted freedom to all their slaves, and set forth, Pipphali leading and Bhadda following close behind. On coming to a fork in the road, they agreed that he should takethe right and she the left. In due course she came to the Titthiyarama (near Jetavana), where she dwelt for five years, women not having yet been admitted to the Buddha's Order. Later, when Pajapati Gotami had obtained the necessary leave, Bhadda joined her and received ordination, attaining arahantship not long after. Later in the assembly, the Buddha declared her foremost of nuns who could recall former lives.