. Thig.13


The chief among the female lay disciples of the Buddha and declared by him to be foremost among those who ministered to the Order. AN.i.26 She is considered the ideal lay woman. AN.iv.348 Her father was Dhanañjaya, son of Meṇḍaka, and her mother Sumanā.

The Udāna Ud.ii.9 contains a story of a dispute she had with the customs officers regarding the duty they levied on one of her presents. She visited Pasenadi several times, trying to get the matter settled; but he had no time to give to the matter, and, in the end, she sought consolation from the Buddha.

The Udāna Ud.viii.8 speaks of the death of a granddaughter and of Visākhā’s great grief.

Visākhā begged for, and was granted, eight boons by the Buddha: that as long as she lived she be allowed to give robes to the members of the Order for the rainy season; food for monks coming into Sāvatthī; food for those going out; food for the sick; food for those who wait on the sick; medicine for the sick; a constant supply of rice gruel for any needing it; and bathing robes for the nuns. Vin.i.290ff.

She offered the Migāramātupāsāda in the Pubbārāma to the Saṅgha.

The Buddha accepted a face towel as a special gift from Visākhā but would not accept an earthenware foot scrubber. Vin.ii.129f. Vin.i.296

Among Visākhā’s relations are also mentioned, in addition to her two sons Migajāla and Migāra, a sister Sujātā, who became Anāthapiṇḍika’s daughter in law; AN.iv.91 a grandson, Salha; a granddaughter, Dattā, who died; and Uggaha, called Meṇḍakanattā. Mention is also made of a grandson of hers on whose behalf she interceded with the Buddha when the monks refused to ordain him during the rainy season. Vin.i.153

The books contain numerous suttas preached by the Buddha to Visākhā during her frequent visits to him, chief among such suttas being the famous discourse on the keeping of the uposatha, AN.i.205ff. AN.iv.255 the discourse of the eight qualities which win for women power in this world and power and happiness in the next, AN.iv.269 and eight qualities which win for a woman birth among the Manāpakāyikā devas. AN.iv.267