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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords

XXVI:31 An unusually long pregnancy (Sivali)

Princess Suppavasa was in pregnancy for an unduly long period. When she was in labour pain for several days, she kept contemplating on the unique qualities of the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha. Finally she sent her husband to the Buddha to pay respects on her behalf. When informed of the condition of the princess, the Buddha said, 'May Suppavasa be free from danger and fear; may she safely give birth to a healthy noble son.' As the verse was being recited, Suppavasa gave birth to a healthy son. On that very day, the Buddha and some bhikkhus were invited to the house for almsfood to celebrate the birth of the child.

When the child grew up he became a bhikkhu and was known as Sivali. He attained Arahanthood as soon as his head was shaved. Later he became famous as the bhikkhu who received offerings without any difficulty. As a recipient of offerings he was unsurpassed.

On one occasion, the bhikkhus asked the Buddha why Sivali had been confined to his mother's womb for an unduly long period. The Buddha replied, 'Bhikkhus, in a previous existence, Sivali was a prince who lost his kingdom to another king. In trying to regain the kingdom he had besieged the city on the advice of his mother. As a result, the people of the city were without food or water for several days. It was for this evil deed that Sivali and his mother had to suffer during the pregnancy and the delivery.

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

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Last modified on: Sunday, 13 August 2000.