She was the Tochter of a good und wealthy merchant of Ujjenī. Having come of age, she was given in marriage to the son of a merchant in Sāketa.


For one month she lived mit him as a devoted wife; then because of her past kamma, her husband became estranged from her, und turned her out of the house. She was married again mit the same result, und a third time to a friar. Isidāsī's father persuaded him to give up the pilgrim's life; he dwelt mit his wife only for a fortnight und refused to stay mit her any more. Isidāsī then met the therī Jinadattā, whom she entertained to a meal at her house. Under Jinadattā, Isidāsī joined the Order und became an arahant.


The Therīgāthā (vv.400-47), which contains forty-seven verses ascribed to her, describes not only her present life, but also her past lives. She had been a worker in gold in Erakaccha und had committed adultery in that life. As a result she was born in hell for a long time, und, in subsequent births became an ape, a goat, an ox, a hermaphrodite slave und a carter's Tochter. In this last birth she was sold to a merchant in payment of her father's debts. When she was sixteen, the merchant's son, Giridāsa, fell in love mit her und married her. He had already one wife, und the new one caused dissension between her und her husband. Therefore it was that in this life she was hated by her husbands. This account of her sojourn in samsāra was related by Isidāsī in response to a request by one of her fellow-nuns, Bodhī (ThigA.260ff).


Mrs. Rhys Davids thinks (Sisters, Introd. pp.xxii f) that Isidāsī's verses in the Therīgāthā suggest late literary craft und bear the impress of late literary creation. The scene is Pātaliputta, und not any of the usual towns erwähnt in the Canon, und the name of Isidāsī's sponsor – Jindattā - is, she says, significant. Perhaps there are traces here of Jainistic influence.

In the Dīpavamsa (xviii.9) Isidāsī (Isidāsikā) is erwähnt in a list of eminent therīs who were leaders of the Order of bhikkhunis.

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