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Rohiṇī

1. Rohiṇī Therī.– She was the daughter of a prosperous brahmin of Vesāli. When the Buddha visited Vesāli, she heard him teach and became a Stream-winner (sotāpanna), taught the doctrine to her parents, and, with their permission, entered the Order, where she became an Arahant.

Ninety-one world-cycles ago she saw Vipassī Buddha begging in Bandhumatī, and, filling his bowl with meal cakes, paid him homage (ThagA.214 f).

The Therīgāthā (vss.271‑90) contains a set of verses spoken by her in exaltation, when, after becoming an Arahant, she recalled to mind the discussion she had had with her father while she was yet a Stream-winner.

It is said (ThigA.219 f) that the last stanza of the series was spoken by her father, who later himself joined the Order and became an Arahant.

2. Rohiṇī.– The sister of Anuruddha Thera. When he visited his family at Kapilavatthu, she refused to see him because she was suffering from a skin eruption. However, Anuruddha sent for her, and when she came, her face covered with a cloth, he advised her to erect an assembly hall for the monks. She consented to do this, sold her jewels, and erected a hall of two stories, the building of which was supervised by Anuruddha. At the dedication ceremony she entertained the Buddha and the monks. At the conclusion of the meal the Buddha sent for her. She was reluctant to go to him owing to her disease, but was persuaded, and he told her the story of her past.

Long ago she had been the chief consort of the king of Bārāṇasī, and being jealous of a dancing girl whom the king loved, she contrived to get powdered scabs on the girl’s body, clothes and bed. The girl developed boils and her skin was ruined.

At the conclusion of the Buddha’s discourse, Rohiṇī’s disease vanished and her body took on a golden colour, while she herself was established in the First Fruit of the Path. After death, Rohiṇī was born in Tāvatiṃsa, at the meeting point of the boundaries of four deities. Because of her beauty, each deity claimed her as his, and they referred their quarrel to Sakka. Sakka, too, became enamored of her, and when he confessed his desire, they agreed to let him take her, and she became his special favourite. DhA.iii.295 ff.

3. Rohiṇī.– A small river dividing the countries of the Sākyā and Koliyā. A dam was constructed across the river, and the people on the two sides used the water to cultivate their fields. Once, in the month of Jeṭṭhamūla, there was a drought, and a violent quarrel arose between the two peoples for the use of the water. A battle was imminent, when the Buddha, seeing what was about to happen, appeared in the air between the opposing forces in the middle of the river and convinced them of the folly of killing each other for the sake of a little water. It is said that he taught on this occasion the Attadaṇḍa Sutta and the Phandana, the Laṭukika, and the Sammodamāna Jātaka stories (also known as the Vaṭṭaka Jātaka).

To show their gratitude to the Buddha for his timely intervention, the Sākyā and the Koliyā gave two hundred and fifty young men from each clan to be ordained under him. SNA.i.358; cp. J.v.412; DhA.iii.254 ff. The accounts differ in details; the Jātaka account, which is the longest, mentions other Jātaka stories: Duddubha and Rukkhadhamma. DA.ii.672 f. and SA.i.53 ff substitute Paṭhavi-udrīyana for Duddubha. However, see under these Jātaka stories.

The Rohiṇī is identified with a small stream that joins the Rapti at Goruckpore. It is now called the Rowai or Rohwaini. For details see Cunningham, Arch. Survey of India xii.190 ff.

Dhammapāla says (ThagA.i.501) that the Rohiṇī flows from north to south and that Rājagaha lies to the south east of it.

4. Rohiṇī.– An asterism (MA.ii.783; SNA.ii.456). The planting of the Bodhi tree in Sri Lanka was performed under this constellation. Mhv.ix.47.

5. Rohiṇī.– A city that was the birthplace of Paccaya Thera. v.l. Rohī. ThagA.i.341.

6. Rohiṇī.– A slave woman of Anāthapiṇḍika. See the Rohiṇī Jātaka.

7. Rohiṇī.– See Rohita.

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