He was the son of King Bimbisāra's
chaplain and, having seen the might of the Buddha when the Buddha entered
Rājagaha, joined the Order. He lived in a village studying, but one day, when he
came to Rājagaha to visit the Buddha, the king asked him to remain, promising to
look after him. The king, however, forgot his promise, and Girimānanda had to
live in the open. The gods, fearing to wet him, stopped rain from falling. The
king, observing the drought and discovering the reason for it, built him a
hermitage wherein the Thera put forth effort and became an arahant.
In the time of Sumedha Buddha he was a
householder, and when his wife and children died he fled into the forest in
grief. There the Buddha consoled him, and he offered flowers to the Buddha and
sang his praises (Thag.vv.325-9; ThagA.i.409ff; Ap.i.330f).
The Giri Sutta was preached in reference
to Girimānanda, when he lay grievously ill. A.v.108ff.