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Visakha
 
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Visakha

Visakha was the devout daughter of Dhananjaya, a millionaire. Her mother was Sumana, and her beloved grandfather was Mendaka.

The Buddha happened to visit her birthplace when she was only seven years old. Though young in age, she was comparatively advanced in Samsara. As such when she heard the Dhamma from the Buddha for the first time she became a Sotapanna.

Books state that even in her prime she possessed masculine strength. Gifted with all womanly charms talented young Visakha excelled both in worldly wisdom and spiritual insight.

She was given in marriage to a non-Buddhist named Punnavaddhana, the son of a millionaire named Migara. On the wedding day, in addition to a large dowry and an exquisitely rich ornament (Mahalata Palandana), ten admonitions were given to her. By her tact and patience she eventually succeeded in converting her husband’s house to a happy Buddhist home. Her callous father-in-law was the first to become a Sotapanna and embrace Buddhism.

Thereafter she was left free to engage in her religious activities as she liked.

It was she who constructed the Pubbarama in the east of Savatthi; as suggested by the Buddha. Here the Buddha spent six rainy seasons. She became the most prominent lay female supporter of the Buddha and His disciples. As a lady she played a very important part in many activities connected with the Sasana. At times she was even deputed by the Buddha to settle disputes that arose amongst the Bhikkhunis. Some rules were laid down for Bhikkhus at her suggestion.

By her dignified conduct, refined manners, courteous speech, obedience and reverence to elders, compassion to her less fortunate ones, and kind hospitality, she won the hearts of all who knew her.


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