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Asokamālā

The wife of Prince Sāli. She was a outcaste (caṇḍāla) woman of exceedingly great beauty, and the prince married her, thus renouncing his right to the throne (Mhv.xxiii.2‑4). The two had been husband and wife, named Tissa and Nagā, in a previous existence and had lived in Mundagaṅgā in Sri Lanka. One day the husband received a pig from a hunter in payment of some smith’s work he had done. Having prepared the animal for food, he expressed the wish that eight holy monks might come to accept alms from him. His wife joining him in this wish, they decorated the house, prepared eight seats, strewed the village path with sand and awaited the guests. Dhammadinna Thera of Piyaṅgudīpa, having divined the man’s wish, came to the village with seven colleagues. After they had eaten, they gave thanks and went away. The man was born as Sāli the son of Duṭṭhagāmaṇī-Abhaya, but his wife was born as an outcaste as a result of an offence in another existence. She had been the youngest of seven daughters of a carpenter and was one day scolded by her mother for untidiness. In anger she used to her mother the same abusive terms as had been hurled at her. This undutiful behaviour caused her to be born as the daughter of a outcaste. MT.606 f.

Her name was Devī, and her father was the chief caṇḍāla in Hallolagāma. Her story is given at great length in Ras.ii.117 f.

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