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 Ujjeni. The 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.
In the 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. Vin.i.139.
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 arahants. BuA.111.
6. Udena.-A yakkha. See Udena Cetiya.
7. Udena.-A king, father of Siddhattha Buddha (Bu.xvii.13); also called Jayasena (BuA.187).
8. Udena.-A king, a former birth of Ukkhepakata-vaccha Thera (ThagA.i.148), called in the Apadāna (i.56), Ekatthambhika.
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. Ap.ii.362ff.