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Somā

1. Somā Therī.– She was the daughter of the chaplain of King Bimbisāra. When she grew up, she saw the Buddha on his first visit to Rājagaha and became a lay disciple. Later she joined the Order, developed insight, and became an Arahant.

One day, as she was spending her siesta at the foot of a tree in Andhavana, Māra, wishing to interrupt her privacy, approached her, invisible in the air, and teased her, remarking on the “two fingered wisdom” (dvaṅgulapaññāya) of women. (The Commentary explains that women, when boiling rice, cannot tell if it is cooked without testing it between two fingers, hence the expression). Somā rebuked him, saying that the fact of being a woman was no obstacle to the comprehension of the Dhamma. (This incident is given also at S.i.129).

In the time of Sikhī Buddha Somā was born into the family of an eminent nobleman and became the chief consort of King Arunavā. (Thig.vs.60‑62; ThigA.66 f). The rest of her story is identical with that of Abhayā Therī (q.v.) She is evidently identical with Uppaladāyikā of the Apadāna. Ap.ii.601 f.

2. Somā.– Sister of Sakulā and queen of Pasenadi. She was a devout follower of the Buddha. M.ii.125; MA.ii.757; she is probably the eminent lay woman referred to at A.iv.347.

3. Somā.– An eminent Therī of Sri Lanka, expert in the Vinaya. Vin.xviii.14.

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