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(Pāli, Mahāpajāpatī). The Buddha's stepmother. Co-wife of Śuddhodana and sister of Māyā, she raised the infant Buddha following the death of his mother one week after giving birth. On the death of Śuddhodana, Mahāprajāpatī, along with 500 other women.sought the Buddha's permission to be ordained as nuns. When he refused, the women cut off their hair, donned yellow robes (cīvara), and followed him on foot. The Buddha refused the request a second time but acceded to the third request following the intervention of Ānanda. Mahāprajāpatī became an Arhat shortly after ordination and reputedly lived to the age of 120.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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