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Sujā

One of the four wives of Magha and his maternal cousin. When Magha’s other wives helped him in his good acts, Sujā, claiming kinship with him, spent her time in adorning herself. When Magha was born as Sakka and looked for Sujā, he found that she had been born as a crane in a mountain cave. He visited her and carried her to Tāvatiṃsa to show her how her companions had been born there, as a result of their good acts. He then exhorted her to keep the five precepts. This she did, eating only such fish as had died a natural death. One day, Sakka, wishing to test her, assumed the form of a fish and pretended to be dead. Just as Sujā was about to swallow the fish, it wriggled its tail and she let it go. A few days later she died, and was born as the daughter of a potter of Bārāṇasī. Sakka filled a cart with treasures disguised as cucumbers and drove it through the city. When people asked him for cucumbers, he said, “I give them only to a woman who has kept the five precepts.” Sujā claimed them, and Sakka, revealing his identity, gave them to her.

Then she was reborn as the daughter of Vepacitti, king of the Asurā, a bitter enemy of Sakka. Because of her great beauty, Vepacitti granted to Sujā the boon of choosing her own husband, and Sakka, disguised as an aged Asura, came to the assembly where she was to choose. Filled with love for him, owing to their previous association, she threw the garland round the aged Asura, and when the others exclaimed that he was old enough to be her grandfather, Sakka took Sujā up into the air and declared his identity. The Asurā started in pursuit, but Mātali drove the Vejayanta-ratha, and Sujā was installed in Tāvatiṃsa as Sakka’s chief consort, at the head of twenty-five million apsarases. She asked for and was granted as a boon that she should be allowed to accompany Sakka wherever he went. DhA.i.269, 271, 274 ff; DA.iii.716 f; J.i.201 f; also J.iii.491 f., where Sujā accompanies Sakka in his travels; at p.494 she is called Sujātā; cf. DA.iii.716.

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