A Famous Female Disciple of Buddha - Samavati
We normally hear of male disciples of the Buddha, be he a laity or monk. Female disciples of the Buddha are seldom mentioned in the Buddhist texts. So, as a Buddhist nun I would like to introduce Samavati, a famous female disciple of the Buddha to you.
Samavati was one of the chief consorts of King Udena, Kosambi. One day, her maid named Khujjuttara had the opportunity to listen to the Buddha expounding the Dhamma. She attained the first stage of the noble fruits after listening to the Dhamma. Khujjuttara subsequently repeated the Dhamma to Samavati and her five hundred maids. All of them also attained the first level of Buddhist sainthood. She then continued to repeat the Buddha Dhamma to Samavati and her maids each time after listening to the Buddha from that day onwards.
King Udena also had another chief queen called Magandiya. She instigated that Samavati was not loyal to him and tried to kill him. The enraged king fitted his bow with an arrow dipped in poison and aimed at Samavati. Samavati and her ladies spread the power of goodwill (metta) to the king instead.
The arrow shot had turned back miraculously, although an arrow shot by the king would usually go through a rock even. King Udena promptly realized the innocence of Samavati.
After the initial failed attempt, the evil Magandiya plotted with her unscrupulous uncle to burn Samavati and her maids alive. As the fire ravaged on mercilessly while they were trapped in, upasika Samavati and her maids had kept on meditating. Thus, some of them progressed ahead onto the third level of noble fruit while the rest attained the second level of noble fruit.
As a conclusion, there are two points I would like to share. The first is that females are also capable of realizing the Noble Truths. This is just as the males, be they laities or monks if we practice the Buddha's trodden path sincerely. The second point is that if we were to continue practicing even under unfortunate conditions/circumstances,
we will attain the noble fruit of Buddhism.
Edit by Ven. Zhen Man