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Abhayamātā

A Therī. She was a courtesan named Padumavatī, the belle of Ujjenī. King Bimbisāra, having heard of her beauty, expressed to his chief priest a wish to see her. The priest, by the power of his spells, enlisted the assistance of a yakkha, Kumbhīra, who took the king to Ujjeni.

She bore to the king a son, Abhayarājakumāra, who later joined the Order and became an Arahant. It was on his account that Padumavatī came to be called Abhayamātā. She heard Abhayarājakumāra teach and leaving the world herself became an Arahant (ThigA.31‑2).

Two verses attributed to her are found in the Therigatha (33,34).

In the time of the Buddha Tissa, seeing him going round for alms, with glad heart she gave him a spoonful of food. As a result, she was thirty-six times queen among the gods and was chief queen of fifty Cakkavattis (ThigA.32).

She is evidently identical with Katacchubhikkhadāyikā of the Apadāna (ii.516‑7).

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