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Personalities of the Buddhist Suttas


[260] At the top, Beggars, of those of my Female Upasakas who has heard much (bahussutanam) is Khujjuttara.


(DPPN: She was born of a nurse in the house of the banker Ghosita, and later became a slave of Queen Samavati. The queen gave her daily the eight pieces of money allowed to her by the king for the purchase of flowers. Khujjuttara bought flowers with four pieces from the gardener Sumana, the remaining four pieces she kept. One day the Buddha visited Sumana, and Khujjuttara, having heard the Buddha preach to him, became a sotapanna. That day she spent the whole amount on flowers. The queen asked her how she had obtained so many, and she told her the whole story. From that time Samavati showed Khujjuttara all honor, bathed her in perfumed water, and heard the Dhamma from her. Khujjuttara became, as it were, a mother to Samavati, and going regularly to hear the Dhamma, would return and preach it to her and her five hundred attendant women. Under the instruction of Khujjuttara they all became sotapannas. When Samavati expressed a desire to see the Buddha, Khujjuttara suggested that she should pierce holes in the walls of the palace and gaze on the Buddha as he passed along the street. After the death of Samavati, Khujjuttara seems to have spent all here time in religious works, listening to the preaching of the Dhamma. The Buddha declared her foremost among lay women by reason of her extensive knowledge (bahussutanam).