1. Udena.King of
Kosambī. He was the
son of Parantapa. His mother, when pregnant with him, was carried off by a
monster-bird and deposited on a tree near the residence of
Allakappa. The child
was born in a storm (utu?) - hence the name. Allakappa, having discovered the
mother and child, took them under his protection. One day, when Udena was grown
up, Allakappa saw by the conjunction of the planets that Parantapa had died.
When he announced the news, Udena's mother revealed to him her identity.
Allakappa taught Udena the various charms he knew for taming elephants and sent
him to Kosambī, with a large following of elephants, to claim the kingdom. Some
time after he became king, Udena appointed Ghosaka as his treasurer, and one
day, having seen Ghosaka's adopted daughter, Sāmāvatī, going to the river to
bathe, sent for her and married her. Later he married, in very romantic
circumstances, Vāsuladattā, daughter of
Canda Pajjota, king of
Dhammapadatthakathā (i.161ff) contains a whole story-cycle of Udena from which
these details, except where otherwise stated, are taken. For details of other
persons mentioned in the article and their encounters with Udena, see under
their respective names.
Udena had another wife,
Māgandiyā, who took advantage of her new position to wreak vengeance on the Buddha
for having once slighted her. When Sāmāvatī was converted to the Buddha's faith
by her handmaiden Khujjuttarā, Māgandiyā tried to poison the king's mind against
her, but the attempt was frustrated, though Sāmāvatī very nearly lost her life
at the king's hand. When Udena realised how grievously he had wronged her, he
promised to grant her a boon, and, as the result of her choice, the Buddha sent
Ananda with five hundred monks to the palace every day, to preach to the women
of the court. Udena himself does not seem to have been interested in religion.
Once when be discovered that the women of the court had given five hundred
costly robes to Ananda, he was annoyed, but when in answer to his questions
Ananda explained to him that nothing given to members of the Order was wasted,
he was pleased and himself made a similar offering of robes to Ananda. Mentioned
also in Vin.ii.291. The incident took place after the Buddha's death.
His encounter in his park the
Udakavana with Pindola Bhāradvāja, in somewhat similar circumstances, did not,
however, end so happily. Udena's women had given Pindola their robes, and when
the king questioned Pindola as to the appropriateness of the gift, he remained
silent. Udena threatened to have him bitten by red ants; but Pindola vanished
through the air. (SnA.ii.514-5; SA.iii.27; in a previous birth too, as Mandavya,
Udena had been guilty of abusing holy men, see the
Mātanga Jātaka, J. iv.375ff).
Later (S.iv.110f) we find him visiting Pindola again on friendly terms and
receiving information as to how young members of the Order succeeded in curbing
their passions in spite of their youth. In this context Udena calls himself a
follower of the Buddha.
Udena had a son named Bodhi (J.iii.157),
among whose activities the building of a palace, called Kokanada, is specially
recorded. It is clear from the incident of the presentation of robes to Ananda,
referred to above, as well as by a definite statement to that effect contained
in the Petavatthu Commentary (p.140), that Udena survived the Buddha; but
whether his son Bodhi succeeded him or not is not known.
Among Udena's possessions mention is
made of his bow, requiring one thousand men to string it (DhA.i.216), and of his
elephant Bhaddavatikā (J.iv.384).
Udena is sometimes referred to as
Vamsarājā (king of the Vamsas) (E.g., J. iv.375; the Dvy. e.g., 528, calls him
Vatsarājā), the Vamsas or the Vacchas being the inhabitants of Kosambī.
Udāna Commentary (p.382) he is called Vajjirājā. The Milinda-pañha (p.291) tells
a story of a woman called Gopāla-mātā, who became a queen of Udena. She was the
daughter of peasant-folk, and, being poor, she sold her hair for eight pennies,
with which she gave a meal to Mahā Kaccāna and his seven companions. That very
day she became Udena's queen.
2. Udena. A thera. He once stayed, after
the Buddha's death, in the Khemiyambavana near Benares. There the brahmin
Ghotamukha visited him. Their conversation is recorded in the
Ghotamukha Sutta. At the end of Udena's sermon, the brahmin offered to share with him the
daily allowance he received from the Anga king. This offer was refused, and at
Udena's suggestion Ghotamukha built an assembly-hall for monks at Pātaliputta;
this assembly-hall was named after him (M.ii.157ff).
See also Udena (9).
3. Udena.An upāsaka of Kosala. He built
a vihāra for the Order, and he invited monks for its dedication, which took
place during the Vassa. It being against the rules to go on a journey before the
Vassa, the monks asked him to postpone the dedication. This annoyed him. When
the matter was referred to the Buddha, he altered the rule so that a journey
lasting not more than seven days could be undertaken during the Vassa.
4. Udena Thera. The personal attendant
of Sumana Buddha. Bu.v.24; J. i.34.
5. Udena. A king. He joined the Order
under Kondañña Buddha, with ninety crores of followers, all of whom became
6. Udena. A yakkha. See Udena Cetiya.
7. Udena. A king, father of
Buddha (Bu.xvii.13); also called Jayasena (BuA.187).
8. Udena. A king, a former birth of Ukkhepakata-vaccha Thera (ThagA.ii.148), called in the Apadāna (i.56),
9. Udena Thera. An arahant, probably
identical with Udena (2). During the time of Padumuttara Buddha he was a hermit,
with eighty-four thousand others, living in a hermitage near Paduma-pabbata in
the Himālaya. Having heard the Buddha's praises from a yakkha, he visited
Padumuttara, offered him a lotus flower and spoke verses in praise of him.