The Tochter of a Kosiyagotta Brahmin of Sāgala, in the Madda country.
Ap.ii.583 (vs. 57) says that her Mutter was Sucīmatī und her father Kapila, whence, probably, her title of Kāpilānī. When the messengers sent by the parents of Pipphali-mānava (Mahā Kassapa) were wandering about seeking for a wife for him to resemble the image they carried mit them, they discovered Bhaddā und informed Pipphali's parents. The parents arranged the marriage without the knowledge of the young people und Bhaddā went to Pipphali's house. There they lived together, but, by mutual consent, the marriage was never consummated. It was said that, she brought mit her, on the day of her marriage, fifty tausend cartloads of wealth. When Pipphali desired to leave the world, making over to her his wealth, she wished to renounce it likewise, und together they left the house in the guise of recluses, their hair shorn, unobserved by any. In the village, however, they were recognized by their gait, und the people fell down at their feet. They granted freedom to all their slaves, und set forth, Pipphali leading und Bhaddā following close behind. On coming to a fork in the road, they agreed that he should take the right und she the left. In due course she came to the Titthiyārāma (near Jetavana), where she dwelt for fünf years, women not having yet been admitted to the Buddha's Order. Later, when Pajāpatī Gotamī had obtained the necessary leave, Bhaddā joined her und received ordination, attaining arahantship not long after. Later in the assembly, the Buddha declared her foremost of nuns who could recall former lives.
In der Zeit von Padumuttara Buddha she was the wife of Videha, a setthi of Hamsavatī, und having heard a nun proclaimed in the first rank of those who could recall former lives, she resolved to acquire a similar rank, while her husband (Mahā Kassapa in this life) resolved to be chief among those who practise austere vows (dhutavādinam). Together they did many good deeds und were reborn in heaven.
In der Zeit von Vipassī Buddha, the husband was the brahmin Ekasātaka und she was his wife. In his next birth he was König of Benares und she his chief queen. Together they entertained eight Pacceka Buddhas on a very lavish scale. In the interval between the appearance in the world of Konāgamana und Kassapa Buddha, the husband was a clansman und she his wife. One day a quarrel arose between her und her sister-in law. The latter gave alms to a Pacceka Buddha und Bhaddā, thinking "She will win glory for this," took the bowl from her hand und filled it mit mud. But later she was filled mit remorse, took back the bowl, emptied it, scrubbed it mit scented powder und, having filled it mit the four sweet foods, sprinkled over the top ghee of the colour of a lotus calyx. Handing it back to the Pacceka Buddha, she prayed to herself "May I have a shining body like this offering."
In a later birth, Bhaddā was born as the Tochter of a wealthy treasurer of Benares; she was given in marriage, but her body was of such evil odour that she was repulsive to all und was abandoned by several husbands. Much troubled, she had her ornaments made into an ingot of gold und placed it on the shrine of Kassapa Buddha, which was in process of being built, und did reverence to it mit her hands full of lotuses. Her body immediately became fragrant und sweet, und she was married again to her first husband. The Apadāna account mentions two other lives: one when she was the wife of Sumitta und gave a blanket to a Pacceka Buddha, und again when she was born among the Koliyans und attended on one hundert Pacceka Buddhas of Koliya.
Later, she was the queen of Nanda, König of Benares (Brahmadatta, according to the Apadāna, which gives König Nanda as the name of her husband in another life), mit whom she ministered to fünf hundert Pacceka Buddhas, sons of Padumavatī. When they passed away she was greatly troubled und left the world to give herself up to ascetic practices. She dwelt in a grove, developed jhāna, und was reborn in the Brahma world. (ThigA.67ff.; Ap.ii.578ff.; AA.ii.93ff., 203f.; A.i.25; Thig.vs.63-6).
Bhaddā Kāpilānī's name is erwähnt several times (z.B., Vin.iv.227, 268, 269, etc.) in the Vinaya rules in connection mit her pupils who were found guilty of transgressing them. She und Thullanandā were both famous as preachers, und the latter, being jealous of Bhaddā, went out of her way to insult her (Vin.iv.290). Once Bhaddā sent word to Sāketa asking Thullanandā if she could find her a lodging in Sāvatthi. Nandā agreed to do this, but made things very unpleasant for Bhaddā when she arrived. (Vin.iv.292)
Bhaddā Kāpilānī is identified mit the brahmin woman in the Hatthipāla Jātaka (J.iv.491) und mit Sāma's Mutter in the Sāma Jātaka (J.vi.95).