There was a rich family in Savatthi. The business man had a son and daughter,but due to his vast expanding business he could not devote much time to his family.The daughter was involved with the domestic servant.When she was twenty she was engaged to a worthy bachelor but on the day of marriage the daughter ran away with the servant.She got pregnant after a while and gave birth to a son.After some time she became pregnant again.She was struggling financially and after conceiving her second child she became very poor and decided to return home.
On the night when she was returning home, there was a rain and thunder, nothing she had seen before.On the way she went into labour.Her husband went to search for wood to built a temporary hut but was bitten by a snake and he died immediately.The daughter of rich man was left alone to deliver her child in the jungle.She cried a lot but there was nobody else except her two sons.She decided to proceed to Savatthi.She had to cross a swelling river in the Jungle.She could not cross the river with two sons therefore she decided to first cross the river with her younger son and then bring her elder son.She crossed the river and put down her younger child. She reached midstream while she was returning to take the elder child, an eagle pounced on the younger child and carried him off.In frenzy she waved her arms frantically to frighten the bird.The elder son thought mother was waving for him to come to her,he jumped in the swelling river which engulfed him.The helpless mother was crying inconsolably.Crying she reached Savatthi.On the way ,she reached crematorium and found that all her family members had been killed the previous night when the house collapsed due to heavy rains.Hearing the news ,she went mad and tore all her clothes and became fully naked.She ran on the streets of Savatthi to be attacked by rougue people and kids with stones shouting "crazy!crazy!"
One day when the Buddha was teaching Dhamma at jetavana vihara she passed by.Hearing the voice of Buddha ,she joined the audience and came to her senses.Realising that she was naked she felt ashamed and tried to cover her body with her hands.Onefollower of Buddha spread a bed sheet upon her and that is how she came to be known as "Patacara"(Lady covered with bed sheet).
Buddha called her and taught her Dhamma.She realized the impermanance .She was ordained and admitted to the Bhikkhuni Sangha and devoted her rest of her life to suffering humanity.