The daughter of the banker Tirītavaccha
of Aritthapura. When she came of age, she
was so beautiful that all who saw her lost control of themselves. At her
father's request, Sivi, the king of the country (who
was the Bodhisatta) sent fortune-tellers to examine her, with a view to making
her his wife, but the brahmins, on seeing her, were so intoxicated with passion
that Ummadantī had them driven out of the house. They returned and told the king
that she was a witch, and she was, therefore, given in marriage to
Ahipāraka, son of the commander-in-chief.
Ummadantī bore the king a grudge for having refused her hand, and one feast day,
when the king passed under her window, she threw flowers at him to attract his
attention. From the moment that the king saw Ummadantī, he was beside himself
with longing for her and lay on his couch raving about her. When Ahipāraka heard
what had happened he offered his wife to the king, but Sivi was too righteous to
hear of accepting the gift, and by a supreme effort of will he overcame his
In a former birth Ummadantī was born in a poor family of Benares, and on a
certain festal day having seen some holy women clad in robes dyed scarlet with
safflower she asked her parents for a similar robe. Realising that they were too
poor to afford the gift, she worked for a long time for another family, and they
finally gave her a robe. When she was about to don it, after a bath in the
river, she saw a disciple of Kassapa Buddha standing without any proper clothes,
his robes having been stolen from the river bank. She first gave him half her
garment, then, seeing how radiant he looked in it, she gave him also the other
half and uttered a prayer that in a further existence she should surpass all
other women in looks and be of maddening beauty.
She is identified with the Therī Uppalavannā.
See also ThigA.192, v.28, quoted from the Apadāna.
The story is related in the Ummadantī Jātaka.