Kisagotami, Kisāgotamī: 2 definitions


Kisagotami means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Kisagotami in Theravada glossary
Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

1. Kisagotami Theri - An arahant. She was declared chief among women disciples with respect to the wearing of coarse robes (lukhacivara dharanam) (A.i.25; the DhA.iv.156 contains a story of the Buddha speaking to Sakka the praises of Kisagotami). She came from a poor family in Savatthi (of a setthikula, which had fallen on evil days, says the Apadana p.565, vs.19). Gotami was her name - she was called Kisa because of her thinness. She was married into a rich family, by whom she was disdainfully treated; but as soon as she bore a son she was shown respect.

(Except by her husband says the Apadana loc. cit.20. The DhA.ii.270ff account, however, makes no mention of her ill treatment; on the contrary, it leads us to expect that she should have been greatly esteemed because, prior to her arrival, her father in laws wealth, forty crores in amount, had all turned into charcoal. When she touched the charcoal it once more became gold. This account is found also in SA.i.149).

The boy, however, died when just old enough to run about; his mother, distraught with grief, fearful lest the dead child should be taken from her, went about with him on her hip, seeking medicine to revive his life. People laughed at her, until one wise man, realizing her condition, directed her to the Buddha. The Buddha asked her to bring him a mustard seed from a house where no one had yet died. In the course of her search for the impossible her frenzy left her, and having grasped the truth, she laid the child in the charnel field, and returning to the Master begged admission to the Order. She became a Sotapanna, and soon after, when her insight was developed, the Buddha appeared before her in a blaze of radiance and, listening to his words, she became an arahant. (ThigA.174ff; Ap.ii.564f; DhA.i.270ff; AA.i.205).

In the verses ascribed to her in the Therigatha (vv.213-23), she incorporates the story of Patacara in her own psalm, as though to utter more fully the pageant and tragedy inherent in womans lot, whereof her own sorrow was but a phase.

In the time of Padumuttara Buddha she was a householders daughter in Hamsavati, and having heard the Buddha assign to a bhikkhuni the foremost rank among wearers of coarse robes, she vowed that one day the same rank should be hers.

In the time of Kassapa Buddha she was the fifth daughter of Kiki and her name was Dhamma. Then she entered the Order and lived a celibate life (Ap.ii.564f; ThigA.190f). She is identified with the lizard in the Tittira Jataka (J.iii.543).

The Samyutta Nikaya (i.129f) records a visit paid to her by Mara as she sat resting in Andhavana. He was forced to retire discomfited.

2. Kisagotami - A Khattiya maiden of Kapilavatthu.

context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

Discover the meaning of kisagotami in the context of Theravada from relevant books on Exotic India

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Kisagotami in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Kisāgotamī (किसागोतमी) or Mṛgajā refers to one of the three wifes of the Buddha according to Vinaya of the Mūlasarvāstivādin mentioned in a footnote at the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XXVIII). Accordingly, “The Mūlasarvāstivādin Vinaya attributes three wives to him, Yaśodhara, Gopā and Mṛgajā, each surrounded by 20,000 courtesans... Seven days before his Great Deaprture, when he went to the palace, Mṛgajā (Kisāgotamī in the Pāli sources, Mṛgī in the Mahāvastu):, spoke the famous stanza to him: Nibuttā nānasā mātā; thanking her, Śākyamuni threw her his necklace; seeing this, Śuddhodana took Mṛgajā and gave her to his son”.

Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

Discover the meaning of kisagotami in the context of Mahayana from relevant books on Exotic India

See also (Relevant definitions)

Relevant text

Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: