Uppalavanna was a Buddhist bhikkhuni, or nun, who was considered one of the top female disciples of the Buddha. She is considered the second of the Buddha's two chief female disciples, along with Khema. She was given the name Uppalavanna, meaning "color of a blue water lily", at birth due to the bluish color of her skin.
Apart from the Vedic Brahmins, the Buddha's lifetime coincided with the flourishing of influential śramaṇa schools of thought like Ājīvika, Cārvāka, Jainism, and Ajñana.
Śāriputra and Moggallāna, two of the foremost disciples of the Buddha, were formerly the foremost disciples of Sañjaya Belaṭṭhaputta, the sceptic; and the Pāli canon frequently depicts Buddha engaging in debate with the adherents of rival schools of thought.
When the Buddha's community had grown to around sixty awakened monks, he instructed .
In Buddhism, an arahant or arhat is one who has gained insight into the true nature of existence and has achieved Nibbana and liberated from the endless cycle of rebirth.
Mahayana Buddhist traditions have used the term for people far advanced along the path of Enlightenment, but who may not have reached full Buddhahood.
The understanding of the concept has changed over the centuries, and varies between different schools of Buddhism and different regions.
A bhikkhunī or bhikṣuṇī is a fully ordained female monastic in Buddhism.
Male monastics are called bhikkhus. Both bhikkhunis and bhikkhus live by the Vinaya, a set of rules.
Until recently, the lineages of female monastics only remained in Mahayana Buddhism and thus are prevalent in countries such as China, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam but a few women have taken the full monastic vows in the Theravada and Vajrayana schools over the last decade. .