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Sumanā

1. Sumanā.– A leading female disciple (aggasāvikā) of Anomadassī Buddha. J.i.36; Bu.viii.23.

2. Sumanā.– Wife of Sirivaḍḍha and mother of Mahosadha. J.vi.331.

3. Sumanā.– A Nāga maiden, wife of the Nāga king Campeyya. See the Campeyya Jātaka. She is identified with Rāhulamātā. J.iv.468.

4. Sumanā.– Wife of Sumana (14) and mother of Nigrodha-sāmaṇera. Mhv.v.41.

5. Sumanā.– Wife of Sumedha Buddha in his last lay life. Bu.xii.20.

6. Sumanā.– Called Sumanā-rājakumārī. She was the daughter of the king of Kosala and sister of Pasenadi. She is included among the eminent female lay supporters (upāsikā) (A.iv.347). She once visited the Buddha, with five hundred royal maidens in five hundred royal chariots, and questioned him regarding the efficacy of giving (See Sumanā Sutta, A.iii.32 f).

The Commentary explains (AA.ii.593 f) that these five hundred companions were born on the same day as herself. She was seven years old when the Buddha paid his first visit to Sāvatthi, and she was present at the dedication of Jetavana with her five hundred companions, carrying vases, flowers, etc., as offering to the Buddha. After the Buddha’s discourse she became a Stream-winner.

It is said that, in the time of Vipassī Buddha, she belonged to a millionaire’s family, her father being dead. When the people, almost at the point of the sword, obtained the king’s permission to entertain the Buddha and his monks, it was the general’s (senāpati) privilege to invite the Buddha to his house on the first day. When Sumanā came back from playing, she found her mother in tears, and when asked the reason, her mother replied, “If your father had been alive, ours would have been the privilege of entertaining the Buddha today.” Sumanā comforted her by saying that that honour should yet be theirs. She filled a golden bowl with richly flavoured milk-rice, covering it with another bowl. She then wrapped both vessels all round with jasmine flowers and left the house with her slaves. On the way to the general’s house she was stopped by his men, but she coaxed them to let her pass, and, as the Buddha approached, saying that she wished to offer him a jasmine garland, she put the two vessels into his almsbowl. She then made the resolve that in every subsequent birth she should be named Sumanā and that her body should be like a garland of jasmine. When the Buddha arrived in the general’s house and was served first with soup, he covered his bowl saying that he had already been given his food. At the end of the meal the general made enquiries, and, full of admiration for Sumanā’s courage, invited her to his house and made her his chief consort. Ever after that she was known as Sumanā, and, wherever she was born, a shower of jasmine flowers fell knee deep on the day of her birth.

According to the Therīgāthā Commentary (ThigA.22 f), Sumanā joined the Order in her old age. She was present when the Buddha taught Pasenadi, the discourse (S.i.68‑70) beginning with, “There are four young creatures, Sire, who may not be disregarded,” and Pasenadi was established in the Refuges and the Precepts. Sumanā wished to leave the world, but put off doing so that she might look after her grandmother as long as she lived.

After the grandmother’s death, Sumanā went with Pasenadi to the vihāra, taking such things as rugs and carpets, which she presented to the Order. The Buddha taught her and to Pasenadi, and she became a Non-returner. She then sought ordination, and, at the conclusion of the stanzas (Thig.vs.16) taught her by the Buddha, attained Arahantship.

7. Sumanā Therī.– She was a Sākyan maiden, belonging to the harem of the Bodhisatta before his renunciation. She joined the Order under Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī, and, as she sat meditating, the Buddha appeared before her in a ray of glory. She developed insight and became an Arahant. Thig.vs.14; ThigA.20.

8. Sumanā.– Wife of Siddhattha Buddha in his last lay life. Bu.xvii.15; BuA.185,187 calls her Somanassā.

9. Sumanā.– See Sumanadevī.

10. Sumanā.– A leading female disciple (aggasāvikā) of Metteyya Buddha. Anāgat.vs.98.

11. Sumanā.– The name of Ubbirī, when she was born in Bhokkantagāma, as the daughter of Sumana. She married Lakuntaka Atimbara, Duṭṭhagāmaṇī’s minister. Later she joined the Pañcabalaka nuns and became an Arahant. See Ubbirī Therī.

12. Sumanā.– An eminent teacher of the Vinaya in Sri Lanka. Dpv.xviii.17.

13. Sumanā.– One of four women of Paṇṇakatanagara in Esikārattha. They saw a monk begging for alms, and one gave him a sheaf of indīvara-flowers, another a handful of blue lilies, another of lotuses, and the fourth some jasmine blossoms. They were all reborn in Tāvatiṃsa, their mansions (vimāna) adjoining each other.

Mahā-Moggallāna saw them and learnt their story, which is recorded in the Vimānavatthu as the story of the Caturitthivimānavatthu.

The last mentioned of the women, who offered sumana-flowers, was called Sumanā. Vv.iv.7; VvA.195 f.

14. Sumanā.– Wife of Ariyagālatissa (q.v.)

15. Sumanā.– A woman of the Mahāvālukavīthi in Anurādhapura. She spent much time in the monastery and was sent away in anger by her husband. She starved for seven days, and on the way back to her house from Mahāgāma, where she was married, gave some food, which Sakka provided for her, to Mahādhammadinna Thera of Talangapabbata, at Nigrodhasālakhanda. Later, another deity took her in a cart to Gulapūvatintini, near Anurādhapura. The king, hearing of her, made her his chief queen. Ras.ii.49 f.

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