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Riven by LustIncest and Schism in Indian Buddhist Legend and Historiography$
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Jonathan A. Silk

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824830908

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824830908.001.0001

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The Story of Utpalavarṇā

The Story of Utpalavarṇā

Chapter:
(p.137) 14 The Story of Utpalavarṇā
Source:
Riven by Lust
Author(s):

Jonathan A. Silk

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824830908.003.0014

This chapter examines a lengthy tale of a woman named Utpalavarṇā, later to become a famous nun, and the multiple instances of incest that punctuate her life story. The tale of is contained in the Vinayavibhaṅga (Vinaya Exegesis) of the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya, with a significantly shorter parallel in the commentary to the Theravāda Therīgāthā (Verses of the Elder Nuns). These two Buddhist versions differ from each other in some significant respects, not least of all in their relative degree of elaboration, but the story is also found in non-Buddhist sources.

Keywords:   incest, Indian Buddhism, nuns, Buddhist texts, Vinayavibhaṅga, Vinaya Exegesis, Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya, Verses of the Elder Nuns

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