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VISHAKHA (6th CENTURY BCE)


Vishakha was the daughter of a merchant of Saket, renowned for her beauty and accomplishments. She was married to an unworthy man, the son of the merchant Migara, in the city of Sravasti. Migara’s family were Jains, while Vishakha was a worshipper of the Buddha. Over time, she won her in-laws over to believing in the Buddha. In fact so great was her father-in-law’s respect for her wisdom and character that he called her ‘Migaramata’ or ‘mother of Migara’. Vishakha made many costly gifts to the sangha, endowing monasteries and paying for their upkeep and furnishing. She was a very important lay disciple in the early years of Buddhism.
 
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