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Selā

1. Selā.– A princess, younger sister of Candakumāra (J.vi.143). She is identified with Uppalavaṇṇā. J.vi.157.

2. Selā Therī.– She was born in Āḷavī as daughter of the king: therefore she was also called Āḷavikā. When she was still unmarried the Buddha visited Āḷavī with Āḷavaka, whom he had converted, carrying his begging bowl and robe. On that occasion Sela went with her father to hear the Buddha teach. She became a lay disciple, but later, agitated in mind, she joined the Order and became an Arahant. After that she lived in Sāvatthi. One day, as she was enjoying her siesta in the Andhavana under a tree, Māra, in the guise of a stranger, approached her and tried to tempt her. However, she refuted his statements regarding the attractions of lay life, and Māra had to retire discomfited (S.i.134; Thig.vss.57‑9).

In the time of Padumuttara Buddha, Selā was born in the family of a clansman of Haṃsavatī and was given in marriage. After her husband’s death she devoted herself to the quest of good, and went from ārāma to ārāma and vihāra to vihāra, teaching the Dhamma to followers of the religion. One day she came to the Bodhi tree of the Buddha and sat down there thinking, “If a Buddha be peerless among men, may this tree show the miracle of Enlightenment.” Immediately the tree blazed forth, the branches appeared golden, and the sky was all shining. Inspired by the sight, she fell down and worshipped the tree, and sat there for seven days. On the seventh day she performed a great feast of offering and worship to the Buddha (ThigA.61 f). Her Apadāna verses, quoted in the Therīgāthā Commentary, are, in the Apadāna itself, attributed to a Therī called Pañcadīpikā, and are twice repeated in these verses (Ap.ii.519, repeated at 527 f), however, she is mentioned as having attained Arahantship at the age of seven, and there is no reference to her life as daughter of the king of Āḷavī. See also Selā (3).

3. Selā Therī.– An Arahant. In the time of Kassapa Buddha she belonged to a lay disciple’s family in Sāvatthi. She heard the Buddha teach and learnt the Doctrine. She was born after death in Tāvatiṃsa. In her last life she was the daughter of a millionaire, and hearing the Buddha teach, she entered the Order and attained Arahantship. Ap.ii.614 f.

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