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Soreyya

1. Soreyya.– A town where Soreyya-Revata lived (Vin.ii.299). In the time of the Buddha there was a caravan route between Soreyya and Takkasilā (DhA.i.326). There was also a direct route from Verañjā to Payāgatittha, passing through Soreyya, Saṅkassa, and Kaṇṇakujja (Vin.iii.11; see also Soreyya-Revata).

At one time Mahā-Kaccāyana lived near Soreyya (DhA.i.325). It was evidently a very ancient city for Anomadassī Buddha is mentioned as having twice taught there, once to King Isidatta and again to the king of Soreyya; and it was there that he held his first assembly of monks (BuA.143, 144). Vessabhū Buddha also taught there later to a very large assembly (BuA.206).

2. Soreyya.– A millionaire’s son of Soreyya. Once, when he and a friend with a large retinue were driving out of the city to bathe, he saw Mahā-Kaccāyana adjusting his robe before entering the city for alms. Soreyya saw the elder’s body, and wished that he could make him his wife or that his wife’s body might become in colour like the elder’s. Immediately Soreyya turned into a woman, and, hiding from his companions, went with a caravan bound for Takkasilā. Arrived at Takkasilā, he became the wife of the Treasurer of that city and had two sons. He had already two sons in Soreyya, born to him before his transformation.

Some time after, he saw his former friend driving in a carriage through Takkasilā, and, sending a slave woman to him, invited him to the house and entertained him. The friend was unable to recognise him until he revealed the truth. Thereupon they both returned to Soreyya and invited Mahā Kaccāyana to a meal. Soreyya fell at his feet, confessed his fault, and asked for forgiveness. When the elder pardoned him, he once more became a man. He entered the Order under the elder and went with him to Sāvatthi. There people having heard his story worried him with questions. He therefore retired into solitude, and, developing insight, became an Arahant. Before that, when people asked him which of his children he loved best, he would say: “Those to whom I gave birth while a woman”; but after attaining Arahantship he would say: “My affections are set on no one.” DhA.i.324 ff.

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