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  • Pañcapāpā

Daughter of a poor man of Benares. Her hands, feet, mouth, eyes and nose were hideous, hence her name ("the Five Defects"); but her touch was ecstatic. The reason of all this was that in a previous birth she had given clay to a Pacceka Buddha with which to tidy his dwelling, but, on first sight, she had looked angrily at him.

One day she happened to touch Baka, king of Benares, and he became infatuated with her. He visited her home in disguise and married her. Later, wishing to make her his chief consort, but fearing the mockery of others because of her ugliness, he devised a plan by which the citizens should become aware of her divine touch.

Afterwards, owing to the jealousy of the other queens, she was cast adrift in a vessel and claimed by King Pāvāriya. Baka, hearing of this, wished to fight Pāvāriya, but they agreed to compromise, and from that time Pañcapāpā lived for a week at a time in the house of each king. The story forms one of the tales related by Kunāla, who is identified with Baka. J. v.440ff.


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