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Ubbarī

1. Ubbarī.– A princess. In the time of Kakusandha Buddha she was a hen. Having heard a monk repeat a formula of meditation, she was born as a royal princess and named Ubbarī. Seeing a heap of maggots in the privy, she meditated thereon and entered the first jhāna and was born in the Brahma-world. In the time of Gotama Buddha she was reborn as a sow in Rājagaha, and the Buddha, seeing her, smiled and related her past to Ānanda. Later she was born in the royal household in Suvaṇṇabhūmi, then, in succession, in a horse-dealer’s house in Suppāraka and in a mariner’s household in Kāvīra. Then she was reborn in a nobleman’s house in Anurādhapura, and again in the village of Bhokkanta in South Sri Lanka, as the daughter of a householder named Sumana. She was called Sumanā, after her father. When her father moved to the village of Mahāmuṇi in Dīghavāpi, Lakuṇḍaka Atimbara, prime minister of Duṭṭhagāmaṇī, met her and married her, and she went to live in Mahāpunna.

Having recollected her past births from some words uttered by the elder Anula of Koṭi-pabbata, she joined the Order of Pañcabalaka nuns. At Tissamahārāma she heard the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta and became a Stream-winner. Later, having heard the Āsīvisopama Sutta in Kallaka-Mahāvihāra, she attained Arahantship. On the day of her death she related her story, first to the nuns and then in the assembly, in the presence of the elder Mahā Tissa of Maṇḍalārāma. DhA.iv.46 ff.

2. Ubbarī.– The wife of Cūḷani-Brahmadatta, king of Kapila in the Pañcāla kingdom. She was a daughter of a poor woman in the village, and the king met her while on his wanderings disguised as a tailor, which disguise he assumed in order to find out news of the people for himself. She was given the name Ubbarī on the day of her marriage, and Cūḷani made her his chief queen. When the king died, she went to the cemetery day after day, lamenting for her dead husband and refusing to be comforted. One day the Bodhisatta, who was an ascetic in Himavā, noticed her with his divine-eye and appeared before her. Having heard her story, he pointed out to her that eighty-six thousand kings of Pañcāla, all bearing the name of Cūḷani-Brahmadatta, had been burnt in that very spot and that she had been the queen of them all. Thereupon, Ubbarī abandoned her grief and renounced the world. She developed thoughts of loving-kindness and in due course was reborn in the Brahma-world (Pv.32; PvA.160‑8).

She is probably to be identified with the queen of Cūḷani-Brahmadatta, king of Pañcāla, mentioned in the Umaṅga Jātaka (J.vi.473, 475), in which case her original name was Nandā-devī. According to the scholiast (J.vi.473), Ubbarī is not a proper name but means any women of the court (orodha).

3. Ubbarī.– Queen Consort of Assaka, king of Potali in the Kāsi kingdom. She was extremely beautiful and, when she died, the king had her body embalmed and placed in a coffin which was put under his bed. She, however, was born as a dung-worm because she had been intoxicated by her own beauty. The story is related in the Assaka Jātaka. J.ii.155 ff.

4. Ubbarī.– Wife of the Prince Brahmadatta, mentioned in the Dhonasākha Jātaka (J.iii.161). On his deathbed the king thinks of her longingly and speaks of her as being of swarthy hue.

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