What was the caste of Sujātā, the woman who offered the Buddha a bowl of rice milk? I am trying to check a reference to her as a Brahman. She is described as a milkmaid, daughter of a landowner.

  • There're quite a few Sujata's and they're mentioned here
    – santa100
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 21:45

1 Answer 1


She is called "mother of Yasa" in VN Mahāvagga, and her name "Sujātā" is declared in AN Ekakanipāta Etadagga Pāli.

Buddha took her food before he enlightened Nibbāna. After Buddha taught VN Anattalakkhaṇasutta to Pañcavaggī, Buddha taught Anupubbīkathā to Yasa and parents.

This is her profile in AN Ekakanipāta Atthakathā. It shows Sujātā wasn't born in rich Brahmaṇa caste family. She was born in rich Vessa caste family because she was born in Kuṭumbhika-kula.

Brahmaṇa-kula = <personal-name>+maṇava (Brahmaṇa caste family)

Brahmaṇa-mahāsāla-kula = rich Brahmaṇa caste family

Gahapaṭi-mahāsāla = <personal-name>+kuṭumbiya (rich Vessa caste family)

Example from Aṅ.A. (manoratha.1) Etadaggavagga Paṭhamavagga etadaggapadavaṇṇanā:

ito satasahassakappādhike asaṅkhyeyyakappamatthake sāriputto brāhmaṇamahāsālakule nibbatti, nāmena saradamāṇavo nāma ahosi. Mahāmoggallāno gahapatimahāsālakule nibbatti, nāmena sirivaḍḍhakuṭumbiko nāma ahosi.

  • I suppose the mother of Yasa and Sujātā who offered ascetic Gotama Siddhārta a bowl of rice milk are two ladies. It's evident that, at the time of offering Sujātā (who offered ascetic Gotama Siddhārta a bowl of rice milk) was just had a son after her marriage to a man of equal caste. Please refer, buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhism/lifebuddha/15lbud.htm
    – Damith
    Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 4:17
  • 1
    She fulfills her vow every year (anusaṃvaccharaṃ) after she had a son, so there is only one Sujātā. However, it is possible that her family is Brahmaṇa caste because her family is the leader of the village, which normally Brahmaṇa.
    – Bonn
    Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 8:26
  • 1
    Thanks @Bonn sir! Actually I didn't know that. Everyone, sorry for my mistake and please ignore my comment above. Bonn sir, It's said that Sujātā was a baroness. So her cast might be Vaishya? (May be, I'm not sure.) Vaishya people engaged in banking and lending money. For example, "Komati caste".
    – Damith
    Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 11:22
  • @Damith You are right. She was born in Vessa caste. I already edited. Thank you.
    – Bonn
    Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 7:10

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