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Kāḷī

1. Kāḷī.– See Kāḷakaṇṇī (3).

2. Kāḷī.– Called Kulagharikā, described among laywomen as the best of those who believe even from hearsay (anussavappasannānaṃ) (A.i.26). She was the mother of Soṇa-Kuṭikaṇṇa, and her husband belonged to Kuraraghara in Avanti. When with child, she came to her parents in Rājagaha, and there, while enjoying the cool breeze on the balcony above her roof (sīhapañjare), she overheard the conversation that took place between Sātāgira and Hemavata on the excellence of the Buddha and of his teaching; as she listened, faith in the Buddha grew in her and she became a Stream-winner. That same night Soṇa was born. Later, Kāḷī returned to Kuraraghara and there waited on Mahā-Kaccāna. When Soṇa entered the Order under Kaccāna and visited the Buddha, she gave him a costly rug to be spread in the Buddha’s chamber. When Soṇa returned home after this visit, Kāḷī asked him to teach her in the same way as he had earlier taught the Dhamma in the presence of the Buddha, earning the applause of the Buddha himself and of the devas of the ten thousand worlds.

Kāḷī was considered most senior among the women who became Stream-winners (sabbamātugāmānaṃ antare paṭhamakasotāpannā sabbajeṭṭhikā) (AA.i.133 ff; SnA.i.208 f). She was the constant companion and staunch friend of Kātiyāni (AA.i.245). Kāḷī’s wish to attain to the eminence which she reached in this life was made in the time of Padumuttara Buddha when she heard a laywoman declared pre-eminent among those who had begotten faith by hearsay (AA.i.247).

A conversation between her and Mahā-Kaccāna is related in the Kāḷigodha Sutta (q.v.)

3. Kāḷī.– Maidservant of Vedehikā of Sāvatthi. Vedehikā was reputed to be gentle and meek, but Kāḷī, who was a bright girl and a good worker, thought she would test her mistress. One day she rose late and, on being reproved, spoke very lightly of her fault. Finding that Vedehikā lost her temper, Kāḷī repeated her offence several times, until one day her mistress struck her with a lynch-pin, drawing blood from her head. Kāḷī ran out and roused the neighbourhood with her shrieks. Vedehikā’s reputation for meekness was no more. The story is related in the Kakacūpama Sutta. M.i.125 f.

4. Kāḷī.– A female Māra, sister of Dūsī (q.v.) and mother of the Māra of the present age (Vasavatti?). (M.i.333)

5. Kāḷī.– A crematrix (chavadāhikā) of Sāvatthi. Seeing Mahākāḷa meditating in the cemetery, she cut off from a recently cremated body its thighs and arms, and making of them a sort of milk bowl, placed it near where the Thera sat. Thag.151; ThagA.i.271; more details are given in DhA.i.57 ff.

6. Kāḷī.– A yakkhinī. A householder, having a barren wife, married another woman, a friend of the former. Every time a child was conceived, the first wife brought about a miscarriage; at last the second wife died through a miscarriage and, on her deathbed, vowed to take her revenge. After several births, in which each, alternately, devoured the children of the other, the second wife became an ogress named Kāḷī and the first wife was born in a good family. Twice the ogress ate the latter’s children; on the third occasion Kāḷī was occupied in Vessavaṇa’s service and the child was left unhurt. On his naming day the parents took him to Jetavana, and there, as the mother was giving suck to her child, while her husband bathed in the monastery pool, she saw the ogress and, being terrified, dashed into the monastery where the Buddha was teaching. The guardian deity, Sumana, prevented Kāḷī’s entrance, but the Buddha, having heard the story, sent for Kāḷī and taught her, whereupon she became a Stream-winner. The Buddha persuaded the two women to become friends, and Kāḷī lived in the house of the other; but being uncomfortable there and at various other lodgings provided for her, she ultimately lived outside the village. There, her aid was invoked for the protection of the crops, and eight ticket-foods (salākabhatta) were established in her honour. DhA.i.37 ff.

7. Kāḷī.– Wife of Koṭūhalaka (q.v.) and mother of Kāpi (DhA.i.169). When Koṭūhalaka was born as Ghosaka, she became his wife after having saved his life (DhA.i.181). See Ghosaka.

8. Kāḷī.– A maidservant of the treasurer (seṭṭhi) of Kosambī. She it was who secured Ghosaka (q.v.) for the treasurer, and when the treasurer wished to get rid of him, the task was entrusted to her. Seven times she tried to have him killed, but all her attempts failed (DhA.i.174 ff). Later Kāḷī confessed her share in the treasurer’s crime, and seems to have been forgiven by both Ghosaka and his wife (DhA.i.186 f).

9. Kāḷī.– A courtesan of Bārāṇasī, sister of Tuṇḍila. She earned one thousand a day. Tuṇḍila was a debauchee, and so wasted her money that she refused to give him any more and had him cast out. A merchant’s son, visiting Kāḷī, found Tuṇḍila in despair and gave him his own clothes. When the latter left the courtesan’s house the next day, the clothes with which he had been provided according to custom were taken away, and he had to walk the streets naked.

The story is included in the Takkāriya Jātaka (J.iv.248 ff). In the stanzas of the Jātaka, Kāḷī is also called Kāḷikā.

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