1. Nandaka (v.l. Nanda) Thera
A householder of Savatthi. (The
(ii.499) says he belonged to a rich clan of merchants and that he entered the
Order at the ceremony of dedication of Jetavana.)
Having entered the Order after hearing a sermon of the Buddha, he developed
insight and soon attained arahantship. Once, at the Buddha's request, he
preached a sermon to the nuns; on the first day they became
sotāpannas, and, on
the second, five hundred of them attained arahantship. From that time the Buddha
declared him foremost among exhorters of the nuns. [A.i.25. The sermon he
preached is known as the Nandakovada Sutta. The
Anguttara Commentary (i.173) says that the nuns were Sakyan maidens who had
entered the Order with Pajāpatī.
At first Nandaka was reluctant to preach to them, they having been his wives in
a previous birth when he was king, and he feared the calumny of his colleagues
who might suggest that he wished to see his former companions. He, therefore,
sent another monk in his place; but the Buddha, knowing that only Nanda's
preaching would effect the nuns' release, insisted on his going.]
The Theragāthā (vs.279 82) contains several verses uttered by him to a woman
to whom he was once married. She met him begging alms in
Savatthi and smiled to
him with sinful heart.
His aspiration after eminence was formed in the time of
when he heard a disciple of that Buddha declared foremost among exhorters of
nuns. He offered the Buddha a very costly robe and illuminated his bodhi tree.
In the time of Kakusandha Buddha he was a karavīka bird and delighted the Buddha
with his song. Later, he was a peacock, and sang three times daily at the door
of a Pacceka Buddha's cell. (ThagA.i i.384f. The Apadana verses given in this
context differ from those given in the Apadana itself (ii 499 f.).
The Anguttara Nikaya attributes two discourses to Nandaka. The first
(A.i.193f. See sv., Sālha) was preached at the
Migāramātupasāda and takes the
form of a discussion with Sālha, Migāra's grandson, and
grandson - on greed, covetousness, malice and delusion, and the benefits
following their destruction. The second discourse is a sermon addressed to the
monks at the waiting hall at Jetavana. It is said that the Buddha was attracted
to the spot by the sound of Nandaka's preaching, and, finding the door locked,
stood fur a long time outside, listening (A.iv.358ff.; throughout the three
watches of the night says the Commentary, AA.ii.794; also MA.i.348). When his
back began to ache he knocked at the door, and, having entered, told Nandaka
that he had been waiting until the end of his discourse to speak to him. Nandaka
expressed. his regret that he should have kept the Buddha waiting and pleaded
ignorance of his presence. The Buddha, conscious of Nandaka's remorse, went on
to praise his sermon, and said that the preaching of such sermons was the duty
of all pious monks. When the Buddha left, Nandaka resumed his sermon, and told
his audience of the five results of listening to the Dhamma in due season.
The Majjhima Commentary (ii.1019) states that Nandaka was once the leader of
a guild of five hundred slaves of Benares and that
Pajapati Gotami was his wife.
One day, while fetching water, his wife noticed five hundred Pacceka Buddhas
enter the city, and, on her return, she witnessed their departure. On enquiry,
she learnt that they had applied to a merchant for lodgings for the rainy
season, but that he had been unable to help. She undertook the care of them and,
having enlisted the support of all her companions and their husbands, she and
her husband ministered to the Pacceka Buddhas. As a result, they were born
together as man and wife for many births, as were their helpers. In one birth
Nandaka was king, and all the women became his wives. In this birth, the women
were born as Pajapati's companions, and they left the world in her company. To
them was the Nandakovada Sutta preached.
2. Nandaka Thera
A householder of Campā and younger brother of
Bharata Thera. When these two heard that
Sona Kolivisa had left the world -
and he so delicate - they too renounced household life. Bharata soon
acquired sixfold abhiññā, and, wishing to
help Nandaka, came to him and discoursed on insight. A caravan passed by, and an
ox, unable to pull his cart through a boggy place, fell down. The caravan leader
had him released and fed with grass and water. He was then able to pull the cart
out. Bharata drew Nandaka's attention to the incident, and the latter, making
that his object of meditation, soon attained arahantship. (Thag.173f.;
In the time of Sikhī Buddha, Nandaka was a woodsman, and one day, while
wandering about, he saw the Buddha's cloistered walk. Pleased with its
appearance, he scattered sand over it. (Ap.ii.418)
A yakkha. One day, while travelling through the air with his friend, he saw
Sāriputta sitting in samadhi, his head newly
shaved. Ignoring his friend's warning, Nandaka knocked Sariputta oh the head;
the former immediately fell down, his body aflame, and swallowed up in hell.
(MA.ii.814; Mil.100; the incident is related at Ud.iv.4, UdA.244ff., and
referred to in ThagA.ii.116, but the yakkha's name is not given. The blow was
hard enough to kill an elephant seven or eight cubits high or shatter a rock.
Sariputta was outside Kapota-Kandarā,
Moggallana being near by).
A minister of the Licchavis. See Nandaka Sutta (2).
General of Pingala, king of Surattha, who reigned some two hundred years
after the Buddha's death. Nandaka was a Nihilist, and, after death, was born as
a vemāmikapeta in the Vindhyā forest. His daughter, Uttarā, was a pious woman,
and gave alms in his name to an arahant monk. Thereupon Nandaka attained
celestial happiness. Wishing to liberate Pingala from his Nihilist views,
Nandaka waited for him on his return from a conference with Dhammāsoka, and,
having led the king to his abode, ministered to him. Then, revealing his
identity, Nandaka advised the king to follow the Buddha's teaching. Pv.iv.3;
1. Nandaka Sutta
Records the incident of the Buddha listening to the preaching of Nandaka and
the continuation of Nandaka's sermon. See Nandaka (1). A.iv.358ff.
2. Nandaka (or Licchavi) Sutta
Nandaka, minister of the Licchavis, visits the Buddha at the
Vesāli. The Buddha tells him that the Ariyan
disciple, possessed of unwavering loyalty to the Buddha, the Dhamma and the
Sangha., and having Ariyan virtues, is assured of enlightenment and happiness.
During the conversation, a man comes to tell Nandaka that his bath is ready.
Nandaka sends him away, saying that the inner washing loyalty to the Buddha is
far more important. S. v.389.