The Maid Who Became An Etadagga

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The Maid Who Became An Etadagga

Postby yawares » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:08 pm

Dear Members,

When I was in junior high school, there was a student who was hunchbacked and I made fun of him. Now I regret that I was so rude and I would like to apologize to him, whereever he is right now, please accept my apology and please forgive me.

I learn so much from this amazing story!

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Kujjuttaraa, The Etadagga For Being The Most Learned [Translated from the Pali by Bhikkhu Thanissaro]
[From Buddhist Dictionary of Pali Proper Names (excerpts)]

She was born of a caretaker in the house of the banker Ghosita (AA.i.232), and
later became a servant woman of Queen Saamaavatii. The queen gave her daily the
eight pieces of money allowed to her by the king for the purchase of flowers.
Khujjuttaraa bought flowers with four pieces from the florist, Sumana
(who adorned The Buddha with all of his jasmine flowers), the
remaining four pieces she kept. One day the Buddha visited Sumana, and
Khujjuttaraa, having heard the Buddha preach to him, became a sotaapanna. 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 Saamaavatii showed Khujjuttaraa all honour, bathed her in perfumed water,
and heard the Dhamma from her. Khujjuttaraa became, as it were, a mother to Saamaavatii,
and going regularly to hear the Dhamma, would return and preach it to her and her
five hundred attendant women. Under the instruction of Khujjuttaraa they all
became sotaapannas. When Saamaavatii expressed a desire to see the Buddha,
Khujjuttaraa 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 Saamaavatii, Khujjuttaraa
seems to have spent all her time in religious works, listening to the preaching of the Dhamma.
She finally attained arahantshipThe Buddha declared her foremost among lay women(Etadagga) by reason of her extensive
knowledge (bahussutaanam).

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Once, in the past, she was a serving-woman of the king of Benares, and one
day, having seen a Pacceka Buddha who was slightly hunch-backed, she threw a
blanket over her shoulder, and bending down to look like a hunchback, she
imitated the Buddha's manner of walking. Therefore, in this present birth she
herself was hunchbacked. On another occasion eight Pacceka Buddhas, receiving
their bowls filled with rice-porridge from the palace, found the bowls so hot
that they were obliged to move them from one hand to the other. Seeing this,
Khujjuttaraa gave them eight ivory bracelets as stands for their bowls. It is
said that these bracelets are still preserved in the Nandamuula-pabbhaara.

Because of this act Khujjuttaraa obtained profound wisdom in this birth, and was
able to learn the Tipitaka by heart.

In the time of Kassapa Buddha she was the daughter of a treasurer, and had a friend who was a nun;
one day when she was adorning herself at eventide the nun visited her, and as there was no servant-girl
at the time Khujjuttaraa asked the nun to do various things for her. As a result she was born as a slave.

Her desire to become chief among learned lay-women was formed in the time of
Padumuttara Buddha, on her seeing a similar rank bestowed on a lay-woman

It is said that the discourses in the Itivuttaka are those which Khujjuttaraa
learned from the Buddha and later repeated to Saamaavatii and her attendant
women. Because these discourses were all preached at Kosambii and repeated there
by her, there was no need to specify the place of their preaching; hence the
formula "Ekam samayam Bhagavaa Kosambiyam viharati" is omitted, and instead is
found "vuttam h'etam Bhagavataa arahataa." (ItvA.32).

It is said that when Saamaavatii and her companions were burnt to death,
Khujjuttaraa escaped because she had not participated in their previous
misdeeds. At the time of the fire she was absent from the palace, some say ten
leagues away.

***************
Love Buddha's dhamma,
yawares :heart:
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