In Rajagaha, the capital of the kingdom of Magadha, lived a girl of good family named Bhadda. Her parents protected her very carefully, because she had a passionate nature and they were afraid that she would be hurt due to her attraction to men. One day from her window Bhadda saw how a thief was being led to the place of execution. He was the son of a Brahman (priest-caste) but had a strong tendency towards stealing.
She fell in love with him at first sight. She convinced her father that she could not live without him, and so he bribed the guards who let the condemned man escape.
Soon after the wedding the bridegroom became obsessed with the desire to get his wife's jewelry. He told her he had made a vow that he would make an offering to a certain mountain deity if he could escape execution. Through this ruse he managed to get Bhadda away from his home. He wanted to throw her down from a high cliff to gain possession of her valuable ornaments. When they came to the cliff, he brusquely told her about his intention. Bhadda, in her distress, likewise resolved to a ruse that enabled her to give him a push so that it was he who fell to his death.
Burdened by the enormity of her deed, she did not want to return to lay life. Sensual pleasures and possessions were no longer tempting for her. She became a wandering ascetic. First she entered the order of Jains and as a special penance, her hair was torn out by the roots, when she ordained. But it grew again and was very curly. Therefore she was called "Curly-hair" (Kundalakesa).
The teaching of the Jain sect did not satisfy her, so she became a solitary wanderer. For fifty years she traveled through India and visited many spiritual teachers, thereby obtaining an excellent knowledge of religious scriptures and philosophies. She became one of the most famous debaters. When she entered a town, she would make a sand-pile and stick a rose-apple branch into it and would announce that whoever would engage in discussion with her should trample upon the sand-pile....
While the Madhyama-agama parallel to the Bahudhatuka-sutta of the Majjhima-nikaya does not take up the theme of what is impossible for women at all, the other versions of this discourse present the various inabilities of women as a single impossibility, as two or as five impossibilities (see figure 5). As regards content, a difference is that according to some versions a woman cannot be one of the four heavenly kings, while others instead indicate that she cannot be Mara. Another and rather significant difference is that, except for the Pali version, the other versions also indicate that a woman cannot be a Paccekabuddha.
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