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Bāhiya Jātaka (No.108)

Once Brahmadatta, king of Bārāṇasī, saw from his window a fat and badly dressed woman relieving nature modestly and decently as she passed the courtyard of the palace when pressing need came upon her. The king was pleased with her quickness and decency, and having sent for her made her his chief queen. Their son became a Cakkavatti.

The story was told in reference to the fat wife of a Licchavi prince. The monks expressed surprise that he should love her, but the Buddha pointed out that she was healthy and cleanly in her house (J.i.420 ff).

In the course of the Jātaka, the woman is referred to as a “bāhiyā,” which the scholiast explains by “bahijanapadavāsī” — from the outlying districts of the country. Therefore, “bāhiyā” probably means “rustic.”

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