X (5) The Story of Some Ladies Observing the Moral Precepts
While residing at the Pubbarama monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (135) of this book, with reference to five hundred ladies.
Once, five hundred ladies from Savatthi came to the Pubbarama monastery to keep the Uposatha Sila vows. The donor of the monastery, the well-renowned Visakha, asked different age groups of ladies why they had come to keep the sabbath. She got different answers from different age groups for they had come to the monastery for different reasons. The old ladies came to the monastery to keep the sabbath because they hoped to gain the riches and glories of the devas in their next existence; the middle-aged ladies had come to the monastery because they did not want to stay under the same roof with the mistresses of their respective husbands. The young married ladies had come because they wanted their first born to be a son, and the young unmarried ladies had come because they wanted to get married to good husbands.
Having had these answers, Visakha took all the ladies to the Buddha. When she told the Buddha about the various answers of the different age groups of ladies, the Buddha said, "Visakha! birth, ageing and death are always actively working in beings; because one is born, one is subject to ageing and decay, and finally to death. Yet, they do not wish to strive for liberation from the round of existences (samsara); they still wish to linger in samsara"
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows: