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Suppiyā

1. Suppiyā.– The name of the inhabitants of Rājagaha in the time of Kassapa Buddha. At that time Vepulla was called Supassa (Suphassa). S.ii.192.

2. Suppiyā.– A female lay disciple of Bārāṇasī. Her husband was Suppiya, and they were both greatly devoted to the Order. One day, while on a visit to the monastery, Suppiyā saw a sick monk who needed a meat broth. On her return home, she sent an attendant to fetch meat; but there was none to be had in the whole of Bārāṇasī. She therefore, with a knife, cut a piece of flesh from her thigh and gave it to her servant to make into soup for the monk. She then went to her room and lay on her bed. When Suppiya returned and discovered what had happened he was overjoyed, and, going to the monastery, invited the Buddha to a meal the next day. The Buddha accepted the invitation, and when, on the next day, he arrived with his monks, he asked for Suppiyā. On hearing that she was ill, he desired that she be brought to see him. At the moment when the Buddha saw her wound was healed, covered with good skin, on which grew fine hairs as on the rest of her body.

It was as a result of this incident that the Buddha lay down a rule forbidding monks to eat human flesh, even when willingly given (Vin.i.216 f).

Suppiyā is given as an example of one whose good deeds bore fruit in this very life (Mil.115; cf. Mil.291). She was declared by the Buddha foremost among women who waited on the sick (A.i.26), an eminence she had resolved to win in the time of Padumuttara Buddha. AA.i.244 f; she is mentioned in a list of eminent women lay disciples (A.iv.348).

3. Suppiyā.– One of the five daughters of the third Okkāka and Hatthā (Bhattā). DA.i.258; MT.131; SNA.ii.352.

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