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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords

I:13 The achievement of a young girl (Sumana Devi)

In Savatthi, at the house of Anatha Pindika and the house of Visakha, (both of whom were well known devotees of the Buddha) a large number of bhikkhus were regularly served with alms. At the house of Visakha, the offering of almsfood was supervised by her granddaughter. At the house of Anatha Pindika, the supervision was done, first by the eldest daughter, next by the second daughter and finally by Sumana Devi, the youngest daughter. The two elder sisters who had already realised Dhamma were married off and went to stay with their husbands, leaving their youngest sister to carry on the meritorious work at their father's house.

One day, Sumana Devi was very ill and she requested to see her father. Her father came, and she addressed her father as 'younger brother' and passed away soon after. Her form of address kept her father wondering and made him uneasy and depressed, thinking that his daughter was not in her right senses at the time of her death. So, he approached the Buddha and reported to him about his daughter's remark. The Buddha explained that Sumana Devi had been in her right senses and fully self-possessed at the time of her death. The Buddha also explained that she had addressed her father as 'younger brother' because her spiritual attainment was higher than her father's. She had attained the second stage of Sainthood whereas her father was only at the first stage. The Buddha also told him that Sumana Devi had been reborn in the Tusita deva world.

55/170 Dhammapada & Commentary Khuddhaka J.i.106ff. despair

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Last modified on: Sunday, 13 August 2000.