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Soṇā

1. Sonā.– One of the chief women patrons of Dīpaṅkara Buddha. Bu.ii.215.

2. Sonā.– A leading female disciple (aggasāvikā), of Sumana Buddha. Bu.v.24; J.i.34.

3. Sonā.– An eminent lay disciple of the Buddha. A.iv.348.

4. Sonā.– An eminent Therī of Sri Lanka. Dpv.xviii.38.

5. Sonā Therī.– She was declared foremost among nuns for capacity of effort (āraddhaviriyānaṃ). She belonged to the family of a clansman of Sāvatthi, and because, after marriage, she had ten sons and daughters, she came to be called Bahuputtikā. When her husband renounced the world, she distributed her wealth among her children, keeping nothing for herself.

Her children soon ceased to show her any respect, and she entered the Order in her old age. She waited on the nuns and studied most of the night. Soon her strenuous energy became known to the Buddha, and he, sending forth a ray of glory, spoke to her. Then she attained Arahantship. Her resolve to win eminence was made in the time of Padumuttara Buddha, when she was the daughter of a millionaire. (A.i.25; Thig.vss.102‑6; ThigA.96 f; Ap.ii.576; cf. the story of Bahuputtikā at DhA.ii.276 f).

The Aṅguttara Commentary says (AA.i.199) that after she became an Arahant she wished her colleagues to know this because they had been in the habit of constantly finding fault with her for various things, and she did not wish them to continue doing so and thereby commit a sin. She therefore filled a vessel with water, which she heated by her psychic power, using no fire. When the nuns came to look for water she told them that if they wanted warm water they could have it from the vessel. They found the water hot, and understood. Then they begged her forgiveness.

6. Sonā.Therī.– An eminent teacher of the Vinaya in Jambudīpa. Dpv.xviii.10.

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