___Lay-woman Ariya Visakha, the Donor of the Monastery for the Buddha___
Visakha was the daughter of the rich man Dhanancaya, the son of the rich man Mendaka of Baddiya town and Sumanadevi. She had the following virtues.
At the age of seven, under the guidance of her grandfather, she, together with her girl attendants had got the opportunity of welcoming the Buddha. The Buddha delivered a Dhamma discourse that suited her temperament. At the end of the discourse she attained to Sotapatti Ariyaship and became a Sotapanna at the tender young age of seven.
When she came of age and got married, she was honoured by King Kosala with his personal presence at the wedding ceremony. Before she left for the house of her mother-in-law, her father gave her 10 pieces of advice using the metaphor of fire. He gave her a highly expensive ornamental dress and a huge sum of money that could buy her five hundred cart-loads of fragrant powder. He also gave her five hundred servants, five hundred carriages drawn by the best horses and many kinds of useful things, each one hundred in number.
She told her father-in-law that she wanted to offer alms-food to members of the Samgha, and when the opportunity came she offered alms-food to the Buddha and the bhikkhus. At her urging, her father-in-law listened to the Dhamma discourse delivered by the Buddha. Her father-in-law and his wife attained to Sotapatti Ariyaship and became Sotapatti Ariyas. Her father in law regarded her as his mother.
What was remarkable about Visakha was that she lived to a ripe old age of 120 years. Not a single strand of her hair turned grey despite her great age. She looked as beautiful as she did at 16. She was so beautiful that her youngish looks made it difficult for people to tell her from her children and grandchildren. She looked graceful in all her postures, such as lying down, sitting down, standing up and walking. She had such a combined physical strength of five great elephants that she could easily make an elephant tumble down over its side just by gripping its tusk between her two fingers.
Visakha built a magnificent monastery at a great cost, and it was known as Pubbarama monastery. The construction of this monastery under the supervision of Venerable Moggalana took nine months. The consecration ceremony for the monastery was held for four months.
From that day onwards Visakha held her donation ceremonies for the Buddha and bhikkhus at the monastery. Even the robes donated to the youngest member of the Samgha were worth one thousand silver coins. Bhikkhus were offered bowlfuls of Catumadhu, a kind of delicacy containing four medicinal ingredients.
In the monastery donating ceremony Visakha said jubilantly, “I have got all my wishes fulfilled”.
Every morning she would offer alms-food to members of the Samgha and in the afternoon she would offer them refreshing drinks, butter and medicines.
The Buddha bestowed on her the title of the Greatest of all women who enjoyed making donation.
Title- Ariyas, The Noble Ones