Udena Sutta: About King Udena translated from the Pali by
Five hundred enlightened women perish in a fire.
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I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Kosambī at Ghosita's monastery. And on that occasion the inner quarters of King Udena's royal park had burned down, and 500 women, headed by Sāmāvatī, had died.
Then in the early morning, a large number of monks adjusted their under robes and — carrying their bowls & robes — went into Kosambī for alms. Having gone for alms in Kosambī, after the meal, returning from their alms round, they went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, they said to the Blessed One, "Lord, the inner quarters of King Udena's royal park have burned down, and 500 women, headed by Sāmāvatī, have died. What is the destination of those female lay followers? What is their future course?"
"Monks, among those female lay followers are stream-winners, once-returners, & non-returners. All of those female lay followers, monks, died not without [noble] fruit."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
- Bound round with delusion, the world
only appears to be competent.
Bound with acquisitions, foolish,
surrounded by darkness,
it seems eternal,
but for one who sees,
there is nothing.