Daughter of the brahmin Mágandiya. When the Buddha rejected her father's offer of marriage with her, her parents joined the Order, giving her in charge of her uncle, Culla Mágandiya. The latter took her to Udena, king of Kosambí, who made her his chief consort, giving her five hundred ladies in waiting. Mágandiyá was incensed against the Buddha for having called her a "vessel of filth," and, when he came to Kosambí, she planned her revenge. Having discovered that Udena's other queen, Sámávatí, and her companions were in the habit of watching for the Buddha through windows in the walls of their rooms, she told the king that Sámávatí and her friends were conspiring to kill him. For some time the king refused to believe this, but when the holes were shown to him, he had them closed up and the windows built higher.
This plan having failed, Mágandiyá hired a slave to revile and abuse the Buddha in the streets. Ananda suggested to the Buddha that they should go elsewhere. The Buddha answered, "I am like the elephant who has entered the fray, I must endure the darts that come upon me. After seven days the abuse ceased. Mágandiyá then persuaded her uncle to send eight live cocks to the palace and sent a page with them to the king's drinking place. When the king asked what should be done with them, she suggested that Sámávatí and her friends should be asked to cook them for him. This the king agreed to do, but the women refused to deprive an animal of its life. Mágandiyá said they should be tested, and sent word by the page that the cocks were to be cooked for the Buddha. The page was bribed to change the live cocks for dead ones on the way, and Sámávatí and her companions then cooked them and sent them to the Buddha. But even then the king, though not knowing of the exchange, would not be convinced of Sámávatí's disloyalty.
Mágandiyá then obtained a snake from her uncle with its fangs removed. This she inserted in the shell of the flute which Udena carried about, closing the hole with a bunch of flowers. Udena was in the habit of spending a week in turn with each of his three consorts. When he announced his intention of going to Sámávatí, Mágandiyá begged of him not to go, saying she had had a dream and feared for his safety. But the king went and Mágandiyá went with him. As he lay asleep with the lute under his pillow she pulled out the bunch of flowers, and the snake lay coiled on his pillow. Mágandiyá screamed and accused Sámávatí of designs on the king's life. This time Udena believed her, and placing Sámávati and her friends in a line one behind the other, he sent for his bow, which could only be strung by one thousand men, and shot an arrow at Sámávatí's breast. But by the power of her goodness the arrow failed to pierce her. Convinced of her innocence, the king pleaded for her forgiveness and gave her a boon. She chose that the Buddha should be invited to come to the palace every day, but the Buddha would not accept the invitation and sent Ananda in his place.
Once more Mágandiyá conspired with her uncle against Sámávatí. They had all the pillars of Sámávatí's house wrapt in cloth, soaked in oil, and, when she and her women were inside, the house was set fire to. Sámávatí saw the flames spreading and exhorted her women to be self possessed, and they attained to various fruits of the Path. Udena questioned Mágandiyá very carefully, and became convinced of her share and that of her uncle in the crime. He then sent for all Mágandiya's relations saying that he wished to reward them. He buried them waist-deep in the palace grounds and covered them with straw; the straw was then set fire to, and when it was burnt he had their bodies ploughed with an iron plough. Pieces of flesh were ripped from Mágandiyá's body, fried like cakes in oil, and Mágandiyá was then forced to eat them.
DhA.i.201f., 210ff.; UdA.383f.; cf. Dvy., 515ff., where Mágandiyá is called Anúpamá.