Aggatherīvatthu Home PageThe Elder Nun Bhaddā Kāpilānī’s Story
9. The Story about the Elder Nun Kuṇḍalakesā
Bhaddā Kuṇḍalakesā’s story is one of the longer ones, showing a very capable and confident young woman. She began her career in the normal way under Buddha Padumuttara, and was also one of the seven sisters born to King Kiki.
In her last life she was reborn in a merchant’s family on the same day her future husband was born, though the signs accompanying his birth were very inauspicious, and they nearly had him put to death there and then.
The boy however grew up in safety, but from an early age was a kleptomaniac, stealing whatever he could get his hands on, no matter how many times his parents scolded him and tried to guide him rightly, and eventually, as he had no further talent, his Father gave him the means to become a professional thief, and left him to his fate.
The young man eventually broke into nearly every house in the city, and when the King found out, he gave the Mayor only one day to find the person responsible or die himself. The Mayor caught the thief, and when he was brought before the King he was sentenced to death.
For reasons not properly explained in the story here, when Bhaddā saw him on his way to execution, she fell in love, and begged for his release, which her Father organised. He was brought back to the house to be her partner. Even then his passion for theft couldn’t be assuaged, and he planned to kill Bhaddā and take her ornaments.
Bhaddā, however, turned out to be quick in wits and disposed of him before he disposed of her. Not able to return home after his death she renounced and became a Jaina nun. We notice here that nuns of other sects had their own hermitages and must have been a common sight in ancient India; these hermitages are mentioned again in the following story.
She excelled in debate and toured the country challenging others to debate with her, and finally came to Sāvatthī. There she met with Ven. Sāriputta who easily defeated her and asked her to meet with the Buddha. She went as asked, and the Buddha taught her in one verse, at the conclusion of which she attained Liberation, and went forth again in the nuns’ Community.
It was because of this display of her quick and ready wit that she was placed in foremost position amongst those who were quick in deep knowledge. Her male counterpart was Ven. Bāhiya Dārucīriya. The canonical story about him can be found in the influential meditation discourse at Udāna 1.10, which is translated elsewhere on this website.02
Etad-aggaṁ bhikkhave mama sāvikānaṁ bhikkhunīnaṁ
This is the foremost of my nun disciples, monastics,
khippābhiññānaṁ, yad-idaṁ Kuṇḍalakesā. RTE, PTS:
amongst those who are quick in deep knowledge, that is to say, Kuṇḍalakesā.
In the ninth (story), “Amongst those who are quick in deep knowledge,”
khippābhiññānaṁ bhikkhunīnaṁ SHB, PTS:
it shows why the Elder Nun Bhaddā Kuṇḍalakesā, amongst those who were quick in deep knowledge, was said to be foremost.
Her Aspiration and Good Deeds
Ayam-pi hi RTE:
At the time of the Buddha Padumuttara, being reborn in a good family home in Haṁsavatī,
Satthu Dhammakathaṁ sutvā,
she listened to the Teacher talk about Dhamma,
Satthāraṁ ekaṁ bhikkhuniṁ khippābhiññānaṁ aggaṭṭhāne ṭhapentaṁ disvā,
and saw the Teacher place a certain nun as being foremost amongst those who are quick in deep knowledge,
adhikārakammaṁ katvā taṁ ṭhānantaraṁ patthesi.
and did a great deed and aspired for that position herself.
Various Good Deeds
Sā kappasatasahassaṁ devamanussesu saṁsaritvā,
She was reborn amongst gods and humans (only) for one hundred thousand aeons,
Kassapabuddhakāle Kikissa Kāsirañño gehe, The other formulas add here:
and in the time of the Buddha Kassapa, in the home of Kiki, the King of Kāsi,
sattannaṁ bhaginīnaṁ abbhantarā hutvā,
she became (one) amongst seven sisters,
vīsativassasahassāni dasasīlāni samādāya,
established the ten precepts for twenty-thousand years,
komārikabrahmacariyaṁ SHB, PTS:
living as a celibate,
Saṅghassa vasanapariveṇaṁ SHB, PTS:
made a dwelling place for the Community,
ekaṁ Buddhantaraṁ devamanussesu saṁsaritvā,
was reborn amongst gods and humans (only) during one period when there was no Buddha,
and when this (Gotama) Buddha arose
Rājagahanagare seṭṭhikule paṭisandhiṁ gaṇhi,
she was conceived in a merchant’s family in the city of Rājagaha,
Bhaddā tissā nāmaṁ akaṁsu.
and they gave her the name Bhaddā (Auspicious).
Her Last Life
Taṁ divasaṁ yeva ca tasmiṁ nagare purohitaputto jāto.
That very day in the city the (King’s) chaplain’s son was born.
Tassa jātavelāya Rājanivesanaṁ ādiṁ katvā,
From the moment of his birth, beginning with King (Bimbisāra’s) residence,
sakalanagare āvudhāni pajjaliṁsu.
and throughout the whole city weapons blazed forth.
Purohito pāto va Rājakulaṁ gantvā Rājānaṁ sukhaseyyaṁ pucchi.
In the morning the chaplain went to the King’s family and asked if the King had slept comfortably.
Rājā: “Kuto, RTE, ChS adds:
The King said: “How can I sleep comfortably today, Teacher, when all night
Rājanivesane āvudhāni pajjalitāni PTS:
we saw the weapons in the King’s residence blazing forth and we have become fearful?”
“Mahārāja, tappaccayā PTS omits:
“Great King, do not worry for this reason,
na tumhākaṁ yeva gehe āvudhāni pajjaliṁsu, sakalanagare evaṁ ahosī.” ti
not only in your home did weapons blaze forth, it was so throughout the whole city.”
“Kiṁ kāraṇā, Ācariyā?” ti
“What is the reason, Teacher?”
“Amhākaṁ gehe coranakkhattena dārako jāto,
“In our home was born a child under the thieves’ star,
so sakalanagarassa sattu hutvā uppanno,
he will become an enemy to the whole city,
this is the portent concerning him,
tumhākaṁ upaddavo natthi, sace pana icchatha, hārema RTE:
there is no danger for you, but if you wish, let us bear him off.”
“Amhākaṁ pīḷāya asatiyā, RTE omits:
“There being no intention to harm us, there is no need to bear him off.”
Purohito: ‘Mama putto attano nāmaṁ gahetvā va āgato,’ ti
The chaplain, thinking: ‘My son has come bearing his own name,’
Sattuko tevassa RTE:
named him Sattuka (Little Enemy).
Seṭṭhigehe pi SHB, PTS omits:
Bhaddā grew up in the merchant’s home, and Sattuka grew up in the chaplain’s home.
So attano ādhāvanavidhāvanena kīḷituṁ samatthakālato RTE:
From the time he was able to play by running around here and there
attano vicaraṇaṭṭhāne SHB:
whatever he saw in any place he had wandered to,
taṁ taṁ PTS omits:
he took all of it away, and filled up his Mother and Father’s home (with it).
Pitā naṁ kāraṇasahassam-pi PTS:
His Father, although giving him a thousand reasons, was not able to restrain him.
Aparabhāge panassa vayappattassa,
Later, as he reached maturity,
sabbākārena pi RTE, ChS:
understanding it was an impossibility to restrain him in any way,
dve nīlasāṭake tassa SHB, PTS, ChS omits:
he gave him a pair of blue robes,
sandhicchedana-upakaraṇañ-ca siṅghāṭakayantañ-ca SHB, PTS:
and put into his hands all the requisites for housebreaking and a grapple,
“Tvaṁ iminā RTE adds:
and sent him off, saying: “You can make a living through doing this work.”
So taṁ divasato paṭṭhāya siṅghāṭakayantaṁ khipitvā,
From that day forward, after throwing his grapple,
kulānaṁ pāsāde āruyha, sandhiṁ chinditvā, PTS:
ascending residences of good families, making a breach,
parakulesu nikkhittabhaṇḍaṁ SHB, PTS: -
and taking the goods that other families had stored there, as if he had put them there himself, he departed.
Sakalanagare tena aviluttagehaṁ nāma nāhosi.
There was not a home in the whole city that was not plundered by him.
Ekadivasaṁ Rājā rathena nagare vicaranto sārathiṁ pucchi:
One day as the King was travelling about the city in his chariot, he asked his charioteer:
“Kiṁ nu kho imasmiṁ nagare tasmiṁ tasmiṁ ghare chiddam-eva paññāyatī?” ti
“Why is it that there appears to be a breach in every house in this city?”
“Deva imasmiṁ nagare Sattuko nāma coro
“God-King, in this city there is a thief named Sattuka who,
bhittiṁ chinditvā, PTS:
having broken through the wall, carries off the property of the good families.”
Rājā Nagaraguttikaṁ pakkosāpetvā,
The King summoned the Mayor,
“Imasmiṁ kira nagare evarūpo nāma coro RTE:
and said: “It seems that in this city there is such and such a thief,
kasmā naṁ na gaṇhasī,” ti āha. SHB, PTS omit:
why have you not grabbed him?”
“Mayaṁ, Deva, taṁ PTS:
“We, God-King, are not able to find the thief together with the stolen property.”
“Sace SHB omits:
“If today you capture the thief you can live;
sace na gaṇhasi, PTS reads:
but if you do not capture (him), I will issue a Royal command.” I.e. he will give him capital punishment.39
“Evaṁ Devā,” ti Nagaraguttiko sakalanagare manusse cāretvā, RTE:
“Yes, God-King,” and the Mayor sent men all over the city,
taṁ bhittiṁ chinditvā, SHB, PTS:
and after (Sattuka) had broken through a wall, and was making off with others’ goods,
sahoḍam-eva gahetvā RTE:
they captured (him) together with the stolen property and brought him to the King.
Rājā: “Imaṁ coraṁ dakkhiṇadvārena nīharitvā ghātethā!” ti āha.
The King said: “Take this thief out through the south gate and execute him!”
Nagaraguttiko Rañño paṭissuṇitvā, SHB, PTS:
The Mayor gave his assent to the King,
taṁ coraṁ catukke catukke pahārasahassena tāḷento SHB, PTS:
and having that thief flogged with a thousand strokes at each of the crossroads,
he went out Present tense used in the sense of the immediate past.46 by the southern gate. Executions always took place to the south of the city.47
Tasmiṁ samaye ayaṁ Bhaddā nāma seṭṭhidhītā, SHB:
At that time the merchant’s daughter Bhaddā,
mahājanassa kolāhalasaddena SHB, PTS:
after opening the window because of the uproar of the populace,
olokentī taṁ SHB, PTS omit:
while looking around, saw the thief Sattuka being brought out,
ubhohi hatthehi hadayaṁ sandhārentī,
and holding her two hands over her heart,
gantvā sirisayane adhomukhā nipajji.
went and lay down on the couch with her head held low.
Sā ca tassa kulassa ekadhītā PTS:
She was the family’s only daughter
tenassā ñātakā appamattakam-pi mukhavikāraṁ sahituṁ na sakkonti.
and her relatives were not able to endure even a trifling contortion of her face.
Atha naṁ Mātā RTE adds
Then her Mother, seeing her lying on the couch, asked: “What are you doing, Dear?”
“Etaṁ vajjhaṁ katvā nīyamānaṁ coraṁ addasathā?” ti RTE, ChS:
“Do you see this thief they have prepared and brought out to be executed?”
“Āma, Amma, addasāmā.” ti ChS:
“Yes, Lady, we do see (him).”
“Etaṁ labhamānā jīvissāmi, alabhamānāya me maraṇam-evā.” ti RTE:
“If I get him I will live, but if I don’t get him there is surely death for me.”
Te taṁ nānappakārena SHB, PTS:
They, being unable to convince her in any way,
“Maraṇā jīvitaṁ seyyo,” ti sallakkhesuṁ.
considered: “Life is better than death.”
Athassā Pitā Nagaraguttikassa santikaṁ gantvā, sahassaṁ lañjaṁ RTE:
Then her Father went into the Mayor’s presence, and gave him a thousand in a bribe,
“Mayhaṁ dhītā core paṭibaddhacittā,
° saying: “My daughter is infatuated with this thief,
yena kenaci upāyena imaṁ muñcā,” ti āha.
please free him through some means or other.”
So: “Sādhū,” ti seṭṭhissa paṭissuṇitvā, SHB, PTS:
He, saying: “Very well,” assenting to the merchant, grabbed the thief,
yāva suriyassa RTE, ChS:
and delayed at the funeral bier until the sun was setting,
suriye RTE, ChS:
as the sun set, he drove a certain man from the prison,
Sattukassa bandhanaṁ RTE:
and loosening Sattuka’s bonds, he sent Sattuka to the merchant’s home,
tena bandhanena itaraṁ bandhitvā,
and having the other man bound with (Sattuka’s) bonds,
dakkhiṇadvārena nīharitvā ghātesi.
he drove him through the southern door and had him executed.
Seṭṭhidāsā pi Sattukaṁ gahetvā seṭṭhino nivesanaṁ SHB, PTS:
The merchant’s servants grabbed Sattuka and took him to the merchant’s residence.
Taṁ disvā seṭṭhi: “Dhītu manaṁ pūressāmī,” ti
Seeing him, the merchant, thinking: “I will fulfil my daughter’s desire,”
Sattukaṁ gandhodakena nahāpetvā,
had Sattuka bathed in scented water,
sabbābharaṇapaṭimaṇḍitaṁ RTE, PTS:
adorned with all decorations, and sent him to the mansion.
Bhaddā pi: SHB omits:
Bhaddā, thinking: “My desire is fulfilled,”
anekālaṅkārena SHB, PTS:
decorated (herself) with innumerable decorations and amused (herself) with him.
Sattuko, katipāhaṁ vītināmetvā, cintesi:
Sattuka, after a few days had passed, thought:
“Imissā pasādhanabhaṇḍakaṁ PTS:
“Her decorative articles will be mine,
kenaci SHB, PTS:
(but) by what means is it fitting to grab her ornaments?”
Samīpe sukhena nisinnakāle PTS:
At a time they were sitting comfortably together, he said to Bhaddā:
“Mayhaṁ ekaṁ vacanaṁ vattabbaṁ atthī.” ti
“There is a word of mine I would like to speak.”
Seṭṭhidhītā sahassalābhaṁ labhitvā viya tuṭṭhamānasā:
The merchant’s daughter, like one who had received a thousand (coins), with a satisfied mind,
“Vissatthaṁ vada, ChS:
said: “Speak freely, Noble Sir.”
“Tvaṁ cintesi: ‘Maṁ nissāya iminā jīvitaṁ laddhan,’-ti
“You thought: ‘His life was saved because of me,’
ahaṁ pana gahitam-atto va corapapātapabbate adhivatthāya devatāya, SHB, PTS:
but when they grabbed me on the mountain from where they throw down thieves I prayed to the god living there,
‘Sacāhaṁ jīvitaṁ labhissāmi, balikammaṁ te RTE:
imploring: ‘If I receive my life, I will make an offering to you.’
Taṁ nissāya mayā jīvitaṁ laddhaṁ, sīghaṁ balikammaṁ sajjāpehī.” ti
Because of that my life was saved, quickly get an offering ready.”
Bhaddā, thinking: ‘I will fulfil his desire,’ prepared the offering,
sabbaṁ pasādhanaṁ SHB, PTS:
decorated herself with all decorations,
ekayāne āruyha sāmikena saddhiṁ, corapapātapabbataṁ RTE:
mounted a vehicle with her husband, and went to the mountain from where they throw down thieves,
‘Pabbatadevatāya balikammaṁ karissāmī,’ ti abhiruhituṁ āraddhā.
began to ascend, thinking: ‘I will make an offering to the god of the mountain.’
Sattuko cintesi: ‘Sabbesu abhiruhantesu
Sattuka thought: ‘With all of us ascending
mama imissā ābharaṇaṁ gahetuṁ RTE:
I will not be able to grab her ornaments,’
tam-eva balibhājanaṁ gāhāpetvā, pabbataṁ abhiruhi.
so after having her take the offering-vessel, he ascended the mountain. It mean he went with her alone, having dismissed the entourage. 86
So Bhaddāya PTS:
But while speaking with Bhaddā he spoke no endearing words,
sā iṅgiteneva tassa RTE:
and from his gestures she understood his intention.
Atha naṁ so āha: “Bhadde, tava sāṭakaṁ ChS:
Then he said to her: “Bhaddā, cast off your robe,
kāyāruḷhaṁ te SHB, PTS omit:
and make a bundle here of all the ornaments heaped up on you.”
“Sāmi, mayhaṁ ko aparādho?” ti
“Husband, what is my fault?”
“Kiṁ panāhaṁ, bāle, SHB, PTS omit:
“Why, fool, do you think I have come to make offerings?” he said, making a sign.
“Ahañ-hi imissā devatāya yakanaṁ ubbaṭṭhetvā, dadeyyaṁ SHB:
“Having torn the liver out of that god I could give an offering in this place,
pana tava ābharaṇaṁ gaṇhitukāmo hutvā āgatomhī.” ti
but I have come desiring your ornaments.”
“Kassa pana, Ayya, pasādhanaṁ kassa ahan?”-ti
“Noble Sir, but whose are the ornaments, and whose am I?”
“Mayaṁ evarūpaṁ na jānāma,
“We do not know of such a thing,
aññaṁ tava santakaṁ, aññaṁ mama santakan.”-ti SHB:
as your property is one thing, and my property is another.”
“Sādhu, Ayya, ekaṁ pana me adhippāyaṁ pūretha,
“Very well, Noble Sir, but let me fulfil one wish,
alaṅkataniyāmeneva me PTS omits:
let me give you in all your finery a hug from in front and from behind.”
So: “Sādhū” ti sampaṭicchi.
Saying: “Very well,” he accepted.
Sā tena sampaṭicchitabhāvaṁ ñatvā, purato āliṅgitvā,
Understanding his acceptance, she hugged him from the front,
pacchato āliṅgantī viya hutvā, pabbatapapāte pātesi.
made like she was hugging him from behind, and threw him from the mountain from where they throw down thieves.
So patanto ākāse yeva SHB, PTS:
He fell through the air and was crushed to pieces.
Tāya kataṁ vicitrabhāvaṁ disvā, RTE:
Seeing the wondrous nature of her deed,
pabbate adhivatthā devatā guṇakittanavasena imā gāthā āha:
the goddess who dwelt on the mountain spoke this verse expounding her virtue:
“Na so sabbesu ṭhānesu puriso hoti paṇḍito,
“Not on every occasion is it a man that is wise,
itthī pi paṇḍitā hoti, tattha tattha vicakkhaṇā.
a women is wise also, she is wise now and then.
Na so sabbesu ṭhānesu puriso hoti paṇḍito,
Not on every occasion is it a man that is wise,
itthī pi paṇḍitā hoti, muhuttam-api cintaye.” ti Also occurring at Kuṇḍalakesātheriyāpadāna, Ap. 2.3.31-32.97
a women is wise also, (if) she but think for a moment.”
Her First Ordination and Teaching
Tato Bhaddā PTS:
Then Bhaddā thought: ‘Because of this I am not able to return again to my home.
Ito va RTE omits:
I will go from here and go forth in some going forth (or other),’
Nigaṇṭhārāmaṁ gantvā, Nigaṇṭhe pabbajjaṁ yāci.
and she went to the Nigaṇṭha’s monastery and requested to go forth amongst the Nigaṇṭhas.
Atha naṁ te āhaṁsu: “Kena niyāmena pabbajjā hotū?” ti
Then they said this to her: “What manner of going forth?”
“Yaṁ tumhākaṁ pabbajjāya uttamaṁ, tad-eva karothā.” ti
Saying: “Please give your supreme going forth.”
Te: “Sādhū,” ti tassā tālaṭṭhinā kese luñcitvā pabbājesuṁ.
Saying, “Very well,” they pulled out her hair with the shell of a palm nut and gave her the going forth. In the Traditions the story is very different from here on. There she is said to have lived in a cemetery and seeing a rotting corpse asked the Jainas about it, who couldn’t answer and sent her to the Buddha (!) where she heard the Teaching about impermanence, gained faith, went forth and soon after was Liberated. 100
Kesā puna vaḍḍhantā RTE adds:
But her hair grew back in ringlets and wavy curls,
sā teneva kāraṇena Kuṇḍalakesā nāma jātā.
and because of that, the name Kuṇḍalakesā (Curly Hair) arose.
Sā attano pabbajitaṭṭhāne sabbasippaṁ uggaṇhitvā,
She learned all the skills in the place of her going forth,
and knowing: ‘There is no further distinction beyond this,’ I.e. she had learned all they could teach. 104
wandering from village to town to capital city,
yattha yattha paṇḍitā atthi, tattha tattha gantvā
wherever there were learned men, she went there
tesaṁ jānanasippaṁ sabbam-eva uggaṇhāti. SHB, PTS:
and learned all the arts they knew.
Athassā bahūsu ṭhānesu sikkhitabhāvena paṭivādaṁ dātuṁ samatthā na honti.
And in many places, because she was so learned no one was able to give a reply to her.
Sā attanā saddhiṁ kathetuṁ samatthaṁ adisvā,
Then not seeing anyone who was able to dispute with her,
yaṁ gāmaṁ vā nigamaṁ vā pavisati, tassa dvāre vālukarāsiṁ katvā,
in whatever village or town she entered, she piled up sand at the gate,
tattha jambusākhaṁ ṭhapesi, PTS, ChS:
and set up a branch of a rose-apple tree right there,
“Yo mama vādaṁ āropetuṁ sakkoti, so imaṁ sākhaṁ maddatū,” ti
saying: “Whoever is able to refute my word, he should trample down this branch,”
samīpe ṭhitānaṁ dārakānaṁ SHB, PTS:
and she informed the children standing nearby.
Taṁ sattāham-pi maddantā na honti.
No one trampled it down even after seven days.
Atha naṁ gahetvā, pakkamati.
Then taking it, she departed.
Her Conversion and Attainment
Tasmiṁ samaye amhākaṁ Bhagavā loke nibbattitvā,
At that time our Gracious One had been reborn in the world,
Sāvatthiṁ upanissāya Jetavane viharati.
and was living in Jeta’s Wood at Sāvatthī.
Kuṇḍalakesā pi kho anupubbena Sāvatthiṁ patvā,
Then Kuṇḍalakesā, after gradually reaching Sāvatthī,
and entering the city in the same way as before,
set her branch in the sand, informed the children and left.
Tasmiṁ samaye Dhammasenāpati, Bhikkhusaṅghe paviṭṭhe,
At that time (Ven. Sāriputta,) the General of the Dhamma, after the Community of monks had already entered (the city),
ekako va nagaraṁ pavisanto vālukāthūpe RTE:
saw the Rose-Apple branch in the sand heap while entering the town alone,
“Kasmā ayaṁ ṭhapitā?” ti pucchi.
and asked: “Why is this placed here?”
Dārakā taṁ RTE:
The children, without omitting anything, told him the reason.
“Evaṁ sante imaṁ gahetvā, maddatha, dārakā.” ti
“That being so, take it and trample on it, children.”
Tesu Therassa vacanaṁ sutvā ekacce maddituṁ na visahiṁsu,
They listened to the Elder’s word (but) some didn’t dare to trample on it,
ekacce taṁ khaṇaṁ yeva ChS:
some others, after trampling on it in an instant, crushed it to powder.
Kuṇḍalakesā bhattakiccaṁ katvā nikkhamantī,
Kuṇḍalakesā, while leaving after taking her meal,
taṁ SHB, PTS omit:
saw the branch trampled down and asked: “Who did this deed?”
Athassā Dhammasenāpatinā kārāpitabhāvaṁ kathayiṁsu.
Then they told her the General of the Dhamma had caused it to be done.
Sā: ‘Attano thāmaṁ ajānanto
She thought: ‘He must be knowing his own strength
imaṁ sākhaṁ maddāpetuṁ no visahissati, SHB, PTS:
else he wouldn’t dare to have had the branch trampled down,
addhā mahanto eso RTE:
he must surely be a great man!
Aham-pi pana khuddikā bhavantī, na sobhissāmi, SHB, PTS:
But I am insignificant (in comparison), and I will not shine,
‘Antogāmam-eva pavisitvā, parisāya saññaṁ dātuṁ vaṭṭatī,’ ti cintetvā,
° and (yet) thinking: ‘After entering the village, it is right to inform the people,’
that is what she did.
Asītikulasahassanivāse nagare sabhāgasabhāgavasena RTE:
All eighty thousand families residing in that city in their various neighbourhoods
sañjāniṁsū ti SHB, PTS:
were informed, so it should be understood.
Thero pi bhattakiccaṁ katvā, aññatarasmiṁ rukkhamūle nisīdi.
The Elder, after the meal duties, sat down at the root of a certain tree.
Athāyaṁ Kuṇḍalakesā mahājanaparivutā, Therassa santikaṁ gantvā,
Then Kuṇḍalakesā, surrounded by the populace, went into the presence of the Elder,
paṭisanthāraṁ katvā ekamantaṁ PTS:
exchanged greetings and stood on one side.
“Bhante, tumhehi sākhā maddāpitā?” ti pucchi.
She asked: “Reverend Sir, did you have the branch trampled down?”
“Āma, mayā PTS:
“Yes, I had it trampled down.”
“Evaṁ sante, tumhehi saddhiṁ amhākaṁ vādo hotu, Bhante.” ti
“That being so, reverend Sir, let there be (a discussion) on our doctrine, together with yours.”
“Hotu, Bhadde.” ti
“Let it be so, Bhaddā.”
“Kassa pucchā hoti, ChS:
“But who should ask, and who should answer?”
“Pucchā nāma amhākaṁ pattā, tvaṁ pana tuyhaṁ jānanakaṁ pucchā.” ti
“Our questions are ready, you can ask according to your understanding.”
Sā Therena dinna-anumatiyā RTE:
Consent having been given by the Elder
sabbam-eva attanā RTE, ChS:
she asked everything according to the doctrine she understood, and the Elder answered it all,
sā sabbaṁ pucchitvā, tuṇhī ahosi.
and having asked everything, she fell silent.
Atha naṁ Thero āha:
Then the Elder said to her:
“Tayā bahuṁ pucchitaṁ, mayam-pi ekaṁ pañhaṁ pucchāmā.” ti
“You asked many things, but we will ask only one question.”
“Pucchatha, Bhante.” ti
“Ask away, reverend Sir.”
“Ekaṁ nāma kin?”-ti
“What is said to be one?”
Kuṇḍalakesā: “Na jānāmi, Bhante,” ti āha.
Kuṇḍalakesā said: “I don’t know, reverend Sir.”
“Tvaṁ ettakam-pi na jānāsi, aññaṁ kiṁ jānissasī?” ti
“If you don’t know even that much, how will you know anything else?”
Sā tatheva RTE, ChS omit:
She fell at the Elder’s feet right there
“Tumhākaṁ saraṇaṁ gacchāmi, Bhante,” ti āha.
and said: “I go to you for refuge, reverend Sir.”
“Mama saraṇagamanakammaṁ natthi,
“There is no coming to me for refuge,
sadevake loke Aggapuggalo dhuravihāre vasati, Taṁ saraṇaṁ gacchā.” ti RTE, ChS:
the Greatest Person in the world with its gods dwells in a monastery nearby, go to Him for refuge.”
Sā: “Evaṁ karissāmi, Bhante.” ti
She said: “I will do so, reverend Sir.”
Sāyanhasamaye, Satthu Dhammadesanāvelāya,
In the evening time, at the time the Teacher was teaching Dhamma,
Satthu SHB, PTS omit:
she went into the presence of the Teacher,
pañcapatiṭṭhitena vanditvā, ekamantaṁ aṭṭhāsi.
worshipped with the fivefold prostration and stood at one side.
Satthā, tassā madditasaṅkhārāya cariyāvasena, RTE:
The Teacher, by way of subjugating her (volitional) processes,
Dhammapade imaṁ gātham-āha:
spoke this verse found in the Dhammapada:
“Sahassam-api ce gāthā anatthapadasaṁhitā,
“Even though one possesses a thousand lines from verses which are unbeneficial,
ekaṁ gāthāpadaṁ seyyo, yaṁ sutvā, upasammatī.” ti Dhp 101. In the Dhammapada commentary it says that this verse was recited in regard to Bāhiya’s Awakening, and that Dhp 102 was the verse that is connected to Ven. Kuṇdalakesī:
they are surpassed by one line of verse, which, having heard, one is calmed.”
Sā gāthāpariyosāne yathā ṭhitā va,
At the conclusion of the verse, just as she was standing there,
saha paṭisambhidāhi Arahattaṁ patvā, pabbajjaṁ yāci.
after attaining Liberation together with the analytic knowledges, she asked for the going forth.
Satthā tassā pabbajjaṁ sampaṭicchi, PTS:
The Teacher agreed to her going forth, and she went to the nunnery and went forth.
Aparabhāge catuparisamajjhe kathā udapādi:
Later this discussion arose in the midst of the four assemblies: That is, the monks, nuns, male and female lay devotees.132
“Mahantā vatāyaṁ Bhaddā Kuṇḍalakesā,
“Great is this Bhaddā Kuṇḍalakesā,
yā catuppadikagāthāvasāne Arahattaṁ pattā!” ti
in that she attained Liberation at the end of just four lines of verse!”
Satthā taṁ kāraṇaṁ, aṭṭhuppattiṁ katvā,
For this reason the Teacher, as the occasion had arisen,
Theriṁ khippābhiññānaṁ aggaṭṭhāne ṭhapesī. ti
placed this Elder Nun in the foremost position amongst those who were quick in deep knowledge.
last updated: March 2015