1. Mallikā. Chief queen of Pasenadi,
king of Kosala. She was the daughter of the chief
garland maker of Kosala, and was very good and beautiful. When she was sixteen
she was, one day, on her way to the garden with some companions, carrying with
her three portions of sour gruel in a basket. Meeting the
Buddha, she offered them to him and worshipped
him. The Buddha, seeing her wrapt in joy, smiled, and, in answer to Ananda's
question, said she would be chief queen of Kosala that very day. J. iii.405;
SA.i.110ff. It was to explain Mallikā's good fortune that the
Kummāsapinda Jātaka was preached.
It happened that Pasenadi, having suffered defeat at the hands of
Ajātasattu that very day, was passing by and
entered the flower garden, attracted by Mallikā's voice. Mallikā, seeing him
coming, and noting his weariness, seized his horse's bridle. The king,
discovering that she was unmarried, dismounted, and, having rested awhile, his
head on her lap, entered the town with her and took her to her own house. In the
evening he sent a chariot for her, and with great honour and pomp brought her
from her own home, set her on a heap of jewels and anointed her chief queen.
From that day onward she was the beloved and devoted wife of the king and an
undeviating follower of the Buddha (DhA.iii.121f). The king found her sagacious
and practical minded and consulted her and accepted her advice when in
difficulty - e.g., in the Asadisa-dāna,
wherein he wished to excel his subjects, and again when he was troubled by evil
dreams as narrated in the Mahāsupīna
Jātaka. DhA.ii.8ff. says that Mallikā called the king a simpleton for
putting his faith in brahmins and took him to the Buddha, and while the king sat
trembling, asked the questions for him and had them explained.
The Jātaka states how Mallikā saved many innocent lives from being
sacrificed, and the Buddha declared that in a past life too, as
Dinnā, she had saved the lives of a large number
of people by her wisdom (DhA.ii.15f).
Both Mallikā and Pasenadi's other queen,
Vāsabhakhattiyā, desired to learn the
Dhamma, and, at their request conveyed through Pasenadi, the Buddha asked
Ananda to visit the palace regularly and teach
them the Doctrine. Ananda found in Mallikā an apt and ready pupil, conscientious
in her work; Vāsabhakhattiyā was not
so devoted to her duties (DhA.i.382f). For an incident connected with Ananda's
visit to the palace, see Vin.iv.158f.
Mallika's knowledge of the Dhamma made her wiser than Pasenadi would have
desired, and he once, in a moment of great affection, asked if anyone were
dearer to her than her own "self." "No, Sire," was the answer; the king was
evidently greatly disappointed, for he sought the Buddha, who explained to him
that Mallikā, in making that answer, had uttered a great truth (S.i.75; Ud.v.1).
Mallikā, though an exemplary wife, was not without lapses. Reference is made to
the quarrels she had with her husband, once, at least, on the question of
conjugal rights, as a result of which they both sulked and had to be reconciled
by the Buddha. J. iv.437; also J. iii.20; in these quarrels the king was probably
more to blame than Mallikā; it is said that until reconciled by the Buddha he
ignored her very existence, saying that prosperity had turned her head.
The Dhammapada Commentary (DhA.iii.119ff) relates a ridiculous story about
her misbehaviour with a dog in the bath house. Pasenadi was a witness of this
scene, but she was able to convince him that it was the fault of the lighting of
the bath house. Nevertheless, it is said that at the moment of her death she
recollected this misdeed, and, as a result, was reborn in
Avīci. The king was overcome by grief at
Mallika's death, and, after the funeral rites, went to the Buddha to ask where
she had been reborn. The Buddha, not wishing him to know, caused the king to
forget the question, every time he came to the vihāra, for a whole week, till
Mallikā's suffering in Avīci was over; then he allowed the question to be asked,
and he was able to assure Pasenadi that she had been reborn in
Tusita and to console him in his grief. It is said
(A.iii.57) that Pasenadi was on a visit to the Buddha when a man came with the
whispered message that the queen was dead. It was a terrible shock, "his
shoulders drooped, his mouth fell, and he sat brooding, unable to speak."
Mallikā had a daughter by Pasenadi; no mention is made of a son. Probably
Vajīrī, who is spoken of as the king's
only daughter (M.ii.110). He is said to have been disappointed on hearing that
the child was a girl; but the Buddha assured him that women were sometimes wiser
than men (S.i.86f).
Mallikā is mentioned (Mil.. 115, 291) as one of seven persons whose acts of
devotion bore fruit in this life and whose fame reached even to the gods. Only
one instance is on record of Mallikā asking a question of the Buddha. She wished
to know why some women are plain, others beautiful, some rich, and others poor.
And the Buddha explained to her the reasons for these discrepancies (See
Mallikā Sutta 1).
In the Piyajātika Sutta (M.ii.106ff
) Pasenadi is said to have taunted her because "her recluse Gotama" had said
that dear ones bring sorrow and tribulation. "If the Lord says so, it must be
so," she replies; but secretly sends Nālijangha to find out from the Buddha
himself if he had said so and why. Having learnt the facts, she faces Pasenadi
again, and convinced him too that the Buddha is right.
Mallikā had a garden, called the Mallikārāma,
in which was a Hall among the Deispyros trees (tindukācīra) set apart for
religious discussions between members of various sects (samayappavādaka).
M.ii.22; MA.710; D.i.178; see Ekasālā.
Mallikā is identified with
In all three births Pasenadi was her husband.
Mallikā is included in a list of eminent upāsikās (A.iv.348).
2. Mallikā (known as Bandhula-Mallikā in order
to distinguish her from the wife of Pasenadi).
Wife of Bandhula. She is called
Mallarājaputtā (VvA.165), and belonged, evidently, to a