1. Ānanda.One of the principal disciples of the
Buddha. He was a first cousin of the Buddha and
was deeply attached to him.
He came to earth from Tusita and was born on
the same day as the Bodhisatta, his father
being Amitodana the
Sākiyan, brother of Suddhodana.
Anuruddha were therefore his brothers (or
probably step-brothers). According to the Mtu.iii.176, Ānanda was the son of
Suklodana and the brother of Devadatta and Upadhāna. His mother was Mrgī.
ānanda entered the Order in the second year of the Buddha's ministry,
together with other Sākiyan princes, such as
and Devadatta, and was ordained by the Buddha
himself (Vin.ii.182), his upajjhāya being
Belatthasīsa (ThagA.ii.68; also DA.ii.418ff.; Vin.i.202; iv. 86). Soon after,
he heard a discourse by Punna
Mantāniputta and became a Sotāpanna.
In S. iii.105 Ānanda acknowledges his indebtedness to Punna and gives an account
of Punna's sermon to him.
During the first twenty years after the Enlightenment, the Buddha did not
have the same personal attendants all the time. From time to time various monks
looked after him, among them being Nāgasamāla,
Nāgita, Upavāna, Sunakkhatta, the novice Cunda,
Sāgata, Rādha and Meghiya. We are told that the Buddha was not particularly
pleased with any of them. At the end of twenty years, at an assembly of the
monks, the Buddha declared that he was advanced in years and desired to have
somebody as his permanent body-servant, one who would respect his wishes in
every way. The Buddha says that sometimes his attendants would not obey him, and
on certain occasions had dropped his bowl and robe and gone away, leaving him.
All the great disciples offered their services, but were rejected by the
Buddha. Ānanda alone was left; he sat in silence. When asked why he did not
offer himself, his reply was that the Buddha knew best whom to choose. When the
Buddha signified that he desired to have Ānanda, the latter agreed to accept the
post on certain conditions. The Buddha was never to give him any choice food or
garment (*) gotten by him, nor appoint for him a separate "fragrant cell"
(residence), nor include him in the invitations accepted by the Buddha. For, he
said, if the Buddha did any of these things, some would say that Ānanda's
services to the Buddha were done in order to get clothes, good fare and lodging
and be included in the invitations. Further he was to be allowed to accept
invitations on behalf of the Buddha; to bring to the Buddha those who came to
see him from afar; to place before the Buddha all his perplexities, and the
Buddha was to repeat to him any doctrine taught in his absence. If these
concessions were not granted, he said, some would ask where was the advantage of
such service. Only if these privileges were allowed him would people trust him
and realise that the Buddha had real regard for him. The Buddha agreed to the
(*) Ānanda did, however, accept one of the two robes given by Pukkusa the
Mallan to the Buddha (D.ii.133); Buddhaghosa explains this by saying that
Ānanda's period of service had now come to an end, and also he wished to be
free from the accusation that even after having served the Buddha for
twenty-five years, the Buddha had never made him any gift. It is further
stated that Ānanda offered the robe to the Buddha later (DA.ii.570).
Thenceforth, for twenty-five years (Thag.v.1039), Ānanda waited upon the
Buddha, following him like a shadow, bringing him water and toothpick, washing
his feet, accompanying him everywhere, sweeping his cell and so forth. By day he
was always at hand, forestalling the Master's slightest wish; at night, stout
staff and large torch in hand, he would go nine times round the Buddha's
Gandha-kuti in order to keep awake, in case he were needed, and also to prevent
the Buddha's sleep from being disturbed.
The account here given is summarised from AA.i.159ff. and from
ThagA.ii.121ff. On the boons see J. iv.96, where Ānanda had asked for boons in
the past too. The Tibetan sources give a different and interesting version of
ānanda's entry into the Order. See Rockhill: Life of the Buddha, 57-8.
Many examples are given of- Ānanda's solicitude for the Buddha, particularly
during the Buddha's last days, as related in the Mahā Parinibbāna Sutta. Ānanda
was the Buddha's equal in age (having been born on the same day), and it is
touching to read of this old and most devoted attendant ministering to his
eminent cousin, fetching him water, bathing him, rubbing his body, preparing his
bed, and receiving last instructions from him on various matters of importance.
It is said that when the Buddha was ill, Ānanda became sympathetically sick
(D.ii.99). He was aware of every change that occurred in the Buddha's body.
E.g., the brightening of his features after Janavasabha's visit (D.ii.204); and
the fading of his complexion just before death, which was apparent when the
Buddha put on the robe given by Pukkusa (ibid., 133).
Once, when acting on the instructions of Devadatta, the royal mahouts let
loose Nālāgiri, maddened with drink, on the Buddha's path, so that he might
trample the Buddha to death, Ānanda, seeing the animal rushing towards them,
immediately took his stand in front of the Buddha. Three times the Buddha
forbade him to do so, but Ānanda, usually most obedient, refused to move, and it
is said that the Buddha, by his iddhi-power, made the earth roll back in order
to get Ānanda out of the elephant's path. [J.v.335-6; it was in this connection
that the Cūlahamsa Jātaka was preached to show that Ānanda had, in previous
births also, renounced his life to save that of the Buddha; see also DhA.i.119.
The Cullavagga account of the Nālāgiri incident makes no mention of Ānanda's
Sometimes, the extreme zealousness of Ānanda drew on him the Buddha's rebuke
- e.g., when he prepared tekatuka gruel (gruel with three kinds of pungent
substances) for the Buddha when he was suffering from wind in the stomach. The
gruel was prepared from food kept indoors and was cooked by Ānanda himself,
indoors; this was against the rules (Vin.i.210-11), but Ānanda knew that the
gruel would cure the Buddha.
ānanda was most efficient in the performance of the numerous duties attached
to his post. Whenever the Buddha wished to summon the monks or to send a message
to anyone, it was to Ānanda that he entrusted the task. See, e.g., D.ii.199;
147; Vin.i.80; M.i.456.
He reported to the Buddha any news which he beard and thought interesting.
E.g., the death of Nigantha Nātaputta, of which he learnt from Cunda Samanuddesa
(D.iii.118; M.ii.244); also Devadatta's conspiracy to harm the Buddha
Laymen and laywomen, wishing to give alms to the Buddha and the monks, would
often consult him in their difficulties, and he would always advise them. E.g.,
the Andhakavinda Brāhmana (Vin.i.220-1); Roja the Malla (ibid., 248); see also
When the monks came to him expressing their desire to hear the Buddha preach,
he did his best to grant their wish. E.g„ when the Buddha retired into the
Pārileyya forest (S.iii.95; DhA.i.50f.).
Sometimes when Ānanda felt that an interview with the Buddha would be of use
to certain people, he would contrive that the Buddha should talk to them and
solve their doubts; thus, for instance, he arranged an interview for the
Nigantha Saccaka (M.i.237) and the brahmins Sangārava and Rammaka (S.i.163;
M.i.161). Similarly he took Samiddhi to the Buddha when he found that Samiddhi
had wrongly represented the Buddha's views (M.iii.208). When he discovered that
Kimbila and a large number of other monks would greatly benefit if the Buddha
would preach to them on Ānāpānasati, he requested the Buddha that he should do
so. (S.v.323). Ānanda's requests were, however, not always granted. Once, for
instance, though he asked the Buddha three times to recite the Pātimokkha, the
Buddha refused to do so until an offending monk had been removed (Vin.ii.236f.).
Again, when at Vesāli, as a result of the Buddha's talks to the monks on
asubha, a large number of them, feeling shame and loathing for their bodies,
committed suicide, Ānanda suggested to the Buddha that he might teach the monks
some method by which they might obtain insight (aññā) (S.v.320f).
In order that people might still worship the Buddha when he was away on tour,
ānanda planted the Ānanda-Bodhi (q.v.).
ānanda was, however, careful that people should not weary the Buddha
unnecessarily. Even when he told the Buddha about the suicide of the monks
(mentioned above), he was careful to wait till the Buddha had finished his
fortnight's solitude, because he had given orders that he should not be
When Subhadda wanted to see the Buddha as he lay on his death-bed, Ānanda
refused to let him in until expressly asked to do so by the Master (D.ii.149).
That same day when the Mallas of Kusinārā came with their families to pay their
last respects to the Buddha, Ānanda arranged them in groups, and introduced each
group so that the ceremony might be gone through without delay (D.ii.148).
He often saved the Buddha from unpleasantness by preventing too pious
admirers from trying to persuade the Buddha to do what was against his scruples.
E.g., Bodhirājakumāra, when he asked the Buddha to walk over the carpets in his
mansion, Kokanada (Vin.ii.128; M.ii.94).
Among Ānanda's duties was the task of going round to put away anything which
might have been forgotten by anyone in the congregation after hearing the Buddha
ānanda was often consulted by colleagues on their various difficulties. Thus
we find Vangīsa (S.i.188; Thag.vers.1223-6) confiding to him his restlessness at
the sight of women and asking for his advice. Among others who came to him with
questions on various doctrinal matters were Kāmabhū (S.iv.165-6), Udāyi
(S.v.166-8; A.iv.449), Channa (S.iii.133-4), and Bhadda (S.v.171-3; ThagA.i.474;
he could not, however, be of use to his fellow celibate Bhandu). Nor were these
consultations confined to his fellow-monks, for we find the brahmins Ghosita
(S.iv.113) and Unnābha (S.v.272), the Licchavis Abhaya and Panditakumāraka
(A.i.220), the paribbājakas Channa (A.i.215) and Kokanuda (A.v.196), the upāsikā
Migasālā (A.iii.347, and again A.v.137), a householder of Kosambī (A.i.217) and
Pasenadi Kosala (M.ii.112), all coming to him for enlightenment and instruction.
It was on this occasion that Pasenadi presented Ānanda with a valuable piece of
foreign material which had been sent to him by Ajātasattu.
Sometimes the monks, having heard a brief sermon from the Buddha, would seek
out Ānanda to obtain from him a more detailed exposition, for he had the
reputation of being able to expound the Dhamma (A.v.225; S. iv.93).
It is said that the Buddha would often deliberately shorten his discourse to
the monks so that they might be tempted to have it further explained by Ānanda.
They would then return to the Buddha and report to him Ānanda's exposition,
which would give him an opportunity of praising Ānanda's erudition. MA.i.81; for
such praise see, e.g., A.v.229. It is said that once when a certain landowner
asked the Buddha how he could show honour to the Dhamma, the Buddha told him to
show honour to Ānanda if he wished to honour the Dhamma (J.iv.369).
In the Sekha Sutta (M.i.353ff ) we are told that after the Buddha had
preached to the Sākiyans of Kapilavatthu till late at night, he asked Ānanda to
continue the discourse while he himself rested. Ānanda did so, and when the
Buddha awoke after his sleep, he commended Ānanda on his ability. On another
occasion, the Buddha asks Ānanda to address the monks on the wonders attendant
on a Buddha's birth, and the Acchari-yabbhuta-Dhamma Sutta is the result. The
Buddha is mentioned as listening with approval (M.iii.119ff).
Sometimes Ānanda would suggest to the Buddha a simile to be used in his
discourse, e.g. the Dhammayāna simile (S.v.5); or by a simile suggest a name to
be given to a discourse, e.g. the Madhupindika Sutta (M.i.114; cp. Upavāna
suggesting the name for the Pāsādika Sutta D.iii.141); or again, particularly
wishing to remember a certain Sutta, he would ask the Buddha to give it a name,
e.g. the Bahudhātuka Sutta (M.iii.67).
Several instances occur of Ānanda preaching to the monks of his own accord
(E.g., A.ii.156f.; v.6) and also to the laity (E.g., A.ii.194). The Sandaka
Sutta records a visit paid by Ānanda with his followers to the paribbajaka
Sandaka, and describes how he won Sandaka over by a discourse. Sometimes, as in
the case of the Bhaddekaratta Sutta (M.iii.189f ) Ānanda would repeat to the
assembly of monks a sermon which he had previously heard the Buddha preach.
ānanda took the fullest advantage of the permission granted to him by the Buddha
of asking him any question he desired. He had a very inquiring mind; if the
Buddha smiled he would ask the reason (M.ii.45, 50, 74; A.iii.214f.; J. iii.405;
Or if he remained silent, Ānanda had to be told the reason (S.iv.400). He
knew that the Buddha did nothing without definite cause; when Upavāna, who stood
fanning the Buddha, was asked to move away, Ānanda wished to know the reason,
and was told that Upavāna prevented various spirits from seeing the Buddha
(D.ii.139). The Buddha was always willing to answer Ānanda's questions to his
satisfaction. Sometimes, as in the case of his question regarding the dead
citizens of ñātikā (D.ii.91ff.),* a long discourse would result.**
* In this case the discourse concluded with a description of the Dhammādāsa
(Mirror of Truth) to be used for all time; see also S. v.356-60.
** The Pabbajjā Sutta (Sn.72ff.), was preached because of Ānanda's request
that the Buddha should give an account of his renunciation (SnA.ii.381); see
also Pubbayogāvacara Sutta (SnA.i.47).
Most often his consultations with the Buddha were on matters of doctrine or
were connected with it - e.g., on nirodha (S.iii.24); loka (S.iv.53); suñña
(S.iv.54; M.iii.104-24); vedanā (S.iv.219-21) ; iddhi (S.v.282-4; 286);
ānāpānasati (S.v.328-34); bhava, etc. (A.i.223f.); on the chalabhijāti of Pūrana
Kassapa (q.v.); the aims and purposes of sīla (A.v.1f., repeated in v.311f.);
the possibilities of samādhi (A.v.7f., repeated in v.318 and in A.i.132f.); on
sanghabheda (A.v.75ff.); the qualities requisite to be a counsellor of monks
(A.iv.279ff.); the power of carrying possessed by a Buddha's voice (A.i.226f.);
the conditions necessary for a monk's happiness (A.iii.132f.); the different
ways of mastering the elements (M.iii.62f.); the birthplace of "noble men"
(DhA.iii.248); and the manner in which previous Buddhas kept the Fast-day
(DhA.iii.246). To these should be added the conversations on numerous topics
recorded in the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta. Some of these questions - e.g., about
earthquakes (D.ii.107ff.; A.iv.312ff.) and the different kinds of spirits
present at the death of the Buddha (D.ii.139f.) - seem to have been put into
ānanda's mouth in order that they might be used as pegs on which to hang beliefs
connected with them which were current among later-day Buddhists.
Not all the Suttas addressed to Ānanda are, however, the result of his
questions. Sometimes he would repeat to the Buddha conversations he had had with
others and talks he had overheard, and the Buddha would expound in detail the
topics occurring therein.
Thus, for instance, a conversation with Pasenadi Kosala on Kalyānamittatā is
repeated and the Buddha explains its importance (S.i.87-9; v.2-3) ; Ānanda tells
the Buddha about his visit to the Paribbajakārāma in Kosambi and what he there
heard about a bhikkhu being called niddasa after twelve years of celibacy. The
Buddha thereupon expounds the seven niddasavatthu (A.iv.37ff.). The account
conveyed by Ānanda of Udāyī preaching to a large crowd leads to an exposition of
the difficulties of addressing large assemblies and the qualities needed to
please them (A.iii.184). A conversation between Udāyī and the carpenter
Pañcakanga on feelings is overheard by Ānanda and reported to the Buddha, who
gives a detailed explanation of his views on the subject (S.iv.222f.;
M.i.397f.). The same thing happens when Ānanda mentions to the Buddha talks he
had heard between Sāriputta and the Pāribbājakas (S.ii.35-7) and between the
same Elder and Bhūmiya (S.ii.39-41). Sometimes - as in the case of the upāsikā
Migasālā (A.iii.347; v.137) - Ānanda would answer questions put to him as best
he could, and seek the Buddha's advice and corrections of his interpretation of
When the monks asked Ānanda whether the Buddha's predictions regarding the
results of Devadatta's crimes were based on actual knowledge, he furnished them
with no answer at all until he had consulted the Buddha (A.iii.402). Similarly,
when Tapussa questions him as to why household life is not attractive to laymen,
ānanda takes him straight away to the Buddha, who is spending his siesta in the
Mahāvana in Uruvelakappa (A.iv.438f.). Once Ānanda fancies that he knows all
about causation, and tells the Buddha how glad he is that he should understand
this difficult subject. The Buddha points out to him that he really knows very
little about it and preaches to him the Mahānidāna Sutta (D.ii.55ff.;
When Ānanda realises that the Buddha will die in a short while, with
childlike simplicity, he requests the Buddha to make a last pronouncement
regarding the Order (D.ii.98 ff.;
On several occasions it is news that Ānanda brings to the Buddha - e.g.,
about the death of the Nigantha Nātaputta, and about Devadatta's plots, already
mentioned - which provoke the Buddha to preach to him: Phagguna has died, and at
his death his senses seemed very clear; so they would, says the Buddha, and
proceeds to speak of the advantages of listening to the Dhamma in due season
(A.iii.381f.). Or again, Girimānanda is ill and would the Buddha go and see him?
The Buddha suggests that Ānanda should go and tell Girimānanda about the ten
kinds of saññā (aniccasññā, etc.), and the patient will recover (A.v.108f.).
ānanda desires to retire into solitude and develop zeal and energy; would the
Buddha tell him on which topics to meditate? And the Buddha preaches to him the
doctrine of impermanence (S.iii.187; iv.54-5).
The Buddha, however, often preached to Ānanda without any such provocation on
various topics - e.g., on the nature of the sahkhāra (S.iii.3740); on the
impossibility of the monk without faith attaining eminence in the sāsana
(A.v.152ff.); on the power the Buddha has of knowing which doctrines would
appeal to different people and of preaching accordingly (A.v.36f.); on
immorality and its consequences (A.i.50f.); on the admonitions that should be
addressed to new entrants to the Order (A.iii.138f.); on the advice which should
be given to friends by those desiring their welfare (A.i.222).
The various topics on which the Buddha discoursed to Ānanda as recorded in
the Mahā Parinibbāna Sutta, have already been referred to. Some of them - e.g.,
on the eight assemblies, the eight positions of mastery, the eight stages of
deliverance (D.ii.112) - seem to be stereotyped later additions. On the other
hand, with regard to the accounts of the honours to be paid to a Buddha's dead
body, the places of pilgrimage for the pious, and various other similar
subjects, it is impossible to say how far they are authentic. In a few instances
the remarks addressed to Ānanda seem to be meant for others, to be heard by them
or to be conveyed to them - e.g., in the dispute between Udāyī and Sāriputta,
when they both seek the Buddha for him to settle the differences in opinion
between them (A.iii.192ff.); or, again, when the recalcitrant Udāyī fails to
answer the Buddha's question on subjects of reflection (anussatitthāna), and
ānanda gives an answer which the Buddha approves (A.iii.322ff.). A question
asked by Ānanda as to whether there are any scents which spread even against the
wind, results in the well-known sermon about the fame of the holy man being
wafted everywhere (A.i.222f.; DhA.i.420ff.). Once or twice Ānanda intervenes in
a discussion between the Buddha and another, either to ask a question or to
suggest a simile which he feels could help the Buddha in establishing his point
- e.g., in the interviews of Uttiya Paribbājaka (A.v.194), of the brahmin
Sangārava (A.i.169), and again of Vidūdabha, son of Pasenadi (M.ii.130).
In the Mahā Mālunkyā Sutta (M.i.433), it is Ānanda's intervention which
evokes the discourse on the Five Fetters. Similarly he intervenes in a
discussion between the Buddha and Pārāsariya's pupil, Uttara, and persuades the
Buddha to preach the Indriyabhāvanā Sutta on the cultivation of the abilities
Buddhaghosa gives a list of the discourses which bring out the eminence and
skill of Ānanda; they are the Sekha, Bāhitiya, Ānañjasappāya, Gopaka-Moggallāna,
Bahudhātuka, Cūlasuññata, Mahāsuññata, Acchariyabbhuta, Bhaddekaratta,
Mahānidā-na, Mahāparinibbāna, Subha and Cūlaniyalokadhātu. (For particulars of
these see under the respective names.) The books give accounts of several
conversations between Ānanda and his eminent colleagues, such as Sāriputta. See
also his conversation with Musīla, and Savittha and Nārada at Kosambī in the
Ghositārāma (S.ii.113f.). He seems to have felt happy in their company and did
not hesitate to take to them his difficulties; thus we find him asking Sāriputta
why only certain beings in this world reach parinibbāna (A.ii.167); on another
occasion he asks Sāriputta about the possibilities of samādhi (A.v.8). On the
other hand, at least twice (A.iii.201f.; 361f.), when Ānanda asks his questions
of Sāriputta, the latter suggests that Ānanda himself should find the answer,
and having heard it, Sāriputta praises him highly and extols his abilities.
ānanda's special friends seem to have been Sāriputta, Moggallāna, Mahā
Kassapa, Anuruddha and Kankhā Revata (E.g., M.i.212f). He was the Sangha-navaka
among them all, yet they held him in high esteem (MA.i.436). Ānanda and
Sāriputta were very special friends. It is said that Sāriputta loved Ānanda
because the latter did for the Buddha what Sāriputta would wish to have done
himself, and Ānanda respected Sāriputta because he was the Buddha's chief
disciple. Young men who were ordained by either of them would be sent to the
other to learn under him. They shared between them any good thing given to them.
Once Ānanda was presented by a brahmin with a costly robe; immediately he wished
to give it to Sāriputta, but as the latter was away at the time, he obtained the
Buddha's permission to keep it for him till his return (Vin.i.289; Sp.iii.636-7;
The Samyutta Nikāya (i.63-4) contains an eulogy on Sāriputta by Ānanda, where
the latter speaks of his comprehensive and manifold wisdom, joyous and swift, of
his rampant energy and readiness to accept advice. When he hears of Sāriputta's
death from Cunda the Samanuddesa, he goes to the Buddha with Cunda (not wishing
to break the news himself) and they take with them Sāriputta's bowl and outer
robe, Cunda carrying the ashes, and there Ānanda confesses to the Buddha that
when he heard the news he felt as thought his body were drugged, his senses
confused and his mind become a blank (S.v.161; Thag.vers.1034-5). The Commentary
adds (SA.i.180) that Ānanda was trembling "like a cock escaping from the mouth
of a cat."
That Mahā Kassapa was fond of Ānanda, we may gather from the fact that it was
he who contrived to have him elected on the First Council, and when Mahā Kassapa
heard of Ānanda's attainment of arahantship, it was he who led the applause
(DA.i.11). Ānanda held him in the highest veneration, and on one occasion
refused to take part in an upasampadā ordination because he would have to
pronounce Kassapa's name and did not consider this respectful towards the Elder
(Vin.i.92). In their conversations, Kassapa addresses Ānanda as "āvuso", Ānanda
addresses Kassapa as "bhante." There is an interview recorded between them in
which Kassapa roundly abuses Ānanda, calling him- corn-trampler" and "despoiler
of families," and he ends by up saying , this boy does not know his own
measure." Ānanda had been touring Dahkhinagiri with a large company of monks,
mostly youths, and the latter had not brought much credit upon them selves. When
Kassapa sees Ānanda on his return to Rājagaha, he puts on him the whole blame
for the youths' want of training. Ānanda winces at being called "boy"; , my head
is growing grey hairs, your reverence, yet I am not vexed that you should call
me 'boy' even at this time of day." Thullanandā heard of this incident and
showed great annoyance. "How dare Mahā Kassapa," she says, "who was once a
heretical teacher, chide the sage Ānanda, calling him 'boy'?" Mahā Kassapa
complains to Ānanda of Thullanandā's behaviour; probably, though we are not told
so, Ānanda apologised to him on her behalf (S.ii.217ff).
On another occasion, Ānanda, after a great deal of persuasion, took Kassapa
to a settlement of the nuns. There Kassapa preached to them, but the nun
Thullatissā was not pleased and gave vent publicly to her displeasure. "How does
Kassapa think it fit to preach the doctrine in the presence of the learned sage
ānanda? It is as if the needle-pedlar were to deem he could sell a needle to the
needle-maker." Kassapa is incensed at these words, but Ānanda appeases him by
acknowledging that he (Kassapa) is in every way his superior and asks him to
pardon Tissa. "Be indulgent, your reverence," says he, "women are foolish."
S.ii.215ff.; the Tibetans say that when Kassapa died, Ajātasattu was very
grieved because he had not been able to see the monk's body. Ānanda took the
king to the mountain where it had been buried and showed it to him (Rockhill,
op. cit., p.162 and n.2).
In this passage Ānanda is spoken of as Vedehamuni. The Commentary (SA.ii.132)
explains it by panditamuni, and says further, pandito hi ñānasankhātena vedena
īhati sabbakiccāni karoti, tasmā vedeho ti vuccati ; vedeho ca so muni cā ti
vedehamuni. Compare with this the derivation of Vedehiputta in connection with
Ajātasattu. See also Vedehikā. The Mtu. (iii.176-7) says that when the Buddha
went away from home Ānanda wished to join him, but his mother was unwilling,
because his brother, Devadatta, had already gone away. Ānanda therefore went to
the Videha country and became a muni. Is this another explanation of the term
It was perhaps Ānanda's championship of the women's cause which made him
popular with the nuns and earned for him a reputation rivalling, as was
mentioned above, even that of Mahā Kassapa. When Pajāpatī Gotamī, with a number
of Sākyan women, undaunted by the Buddha's refusal of their request at
Kapilavatthu, followed him into Vesāli and there beseeched his consent for women
to enter the Order, the Buddha would not change his mind.
ānanda found the women dejected and weeping, with swollen feet, standing
outside the Kūtāgārasālā. Having learnt what had happened, he asked the Buddha
to grant their request. Three times he asked and three times the Buddha refused.
Then he changed his tactics. He inquired of the Buddha if women were at all
capable of attaining the Fruits of the Path. The answer was in the affirmative,
and Ānanda pushed home the advantage thus gained. In the end the Buddha allowed
women to enter the Order subject to certain conditions. They expressed their
great gratitude to Ānanda (Vin.ii.253ff. Ānanda is again found as intermediary
for Pajāpatī Gotamī in M.iii.253f). In this connection, the Buddha is reported
as having said (Vin.ii.256) that had Ānanda not persuaded him to give his
consent to the admission of women to the Order, the Sāsana would have lasted a
thousand years, but now it would last only five hundred.
This championing of the women's cause was also one of the charges brought
against Ānanda by his colleagues at the end of the First Council. (See below.)
Perhaps it was this solicitude for their privileges that prompted him to ask
the Buddha one day why it was that women did not sit in public assemblies (e.g.
courts of justice), or embark on business, or reap the full fruit of their
actions (A.ii.82. See also GS.ii.92, n.2, on the interpretation of the last
That Ānanda was in the habit of preaching frequently to the nuns is evident
from the incidents quoted above and also from other passages (E.g., S. v.154ff.;
Thag.v.1020; ThagA.ii.129). He seems also to have been in charge of the
arrangements for sending preachers regularly to the nuns. A passage in the
Samyutta Commentary (i.210) seems to indicate that Ānanda was a popular preacher
among laywomen as well.
They would stand round him when he preached, fanning him and asking him
questions on the Dhamma. When he went to Kosambī to impose the higher penalty on
Channa, the women of King Udena's harem, hearing of his presence in the park,
came to him and listened to his preaching. So impressed were they that they gave
him five hundred robes (Vin.ii.290). It was on this occasion that Ānanda
convinced Udena of the conscientiousness with which the Sākyaputta monks used
everything which was given to them, wasting nothing. The king, pleased with
ānanda, gave him another five hundred robes, all of which he distributed among
Ananda had been a tailor in a past birth and had given a Pacceka Buddha a
piece of cloth, the size of his hand, and a needle. Because of the gift of the
needle he was wise, because of the cloth he got 500 robes (AA.i.239).
A similar story is related of the women of Pasenadi's palace and their gift
to Ānanda. The king was at first angry, but afterwards gave Ānanda one thousand
The Dhammapada Commentary (i.382ff ) says that once Pasenadi asked the Buddha
to go regularly to the palace with five hundred monks and preach the Law to his
queens Mallikā and Vāsabhakhattiyā and to the other women in the palace. When
the Buddha said that it was impossible for him to go regularly to one place he
was asked to send a monk, and the duty was assigned to Ānanda. He therefore went
to the palace at stated times and instructed the queens. Mallikā was found to be
a good student, but not so Vāsabhakhattiyā.
The Jātaka Commentary (i.382) says that the women of the palace were
themselves asked which of the eighty chief disciples they would have as their
preacher and they unanimously chose Ānanda. For an incident connected with
ānanda's visits to the palace see the Mahāsāra Jātaka and also Pasenadi.
According to the Anguttara Commentary (ii.533) Ānanda was beautiful to look
ānanda's services seem often to have been sought for consoling the sick. Thus
we find Anāthapindika sending for him when he lay ill (M.iii.258), and also
Sirivaddha (S.v.176f) and Mānadinna (S.v.177f). He is elsewhere mentioned as
helping the Buddha to wait on a sick monk (Vin.i.302). We are told that when the
Buddha had his afternoon siesta, Ānanda would spend his time in waiting upon the
sick and talking to them (Sp.iii.651). Ānanda was never too busy to show
gratitude to his friends. When a certain crow-keeper's family, members of which
had been of special service to him, had been destroyed by a pestilence, leaving
only two very young boys, he obtained the Buddha's special permission to ordain
them and look after them, though they were under the requisite age. (Vin.i.79;
to a young monk who used to wait on him and do various services for him, Ānanda
gave five hundred robes presented to him by Pasenadi; the monk distributed them
to his colleagues).
When Ānanda discovered that his friend Roja and Malla had no real faith in
the Buddha, he was greatly grieved and interceded on his special behalf with the
Buddha that he should make Roja a believer. Later he obtained the Buddha's
permission for Roja to offer a meal of potherbs (Vin.i.247-9). In another place
we find Roja presenting Ānanda with a linen cloth (Vin.i.296). According to the
Jātakatthakathā (ii.231) Roja once tried to persuade Ānanda to go back to the
His sympathy is also shown in the story of the woman who asked to have a
share in the Vihāra built by Visākhā. She brought a costly carpet, but could
find no place in which to put it; it looked so poor beside the other
furnishings. Ānanda helped her in her disappointment (DhA.i.415f).
Once in Jetavana, in an assembly of monks, the Buddha spoke the praises of
ānanda, and ranked him the foremost bhikkhu in five respects: erudition, good
behaviour (gatimantānam, power of walking, according to Dhammapāla), retentive
memory, resoluteness and personal attention (A.i.24f). Again, shortly before the
Buddha's death, he speaks affectionately of Ānanda (D.ii.144-5; A.ii.132;
A.v.229; SA.ii.94f ); Ānanda knew the right time to bring visitors to the
Tathāgata; he had four exceptional qualities, in that whoever came to see him,
monks or nuns, laymen or laywomen, they were all filled with joy on beholding
him; when he preached to them they listened with rapture and delight, which
never tired. He was called Ānanda because he brought joy to his kinsmen
But see the story of Atula (DhA.iii.327), who is not satisfied with Ānanda's
Another proof of the Buddha's esteem for Ānanda is the incident of his asking
ānanda to design a robe for the monks to be in pattern like a field in Magadha
In spite of Ānanda having been the constant companion of the Buddha -
probably because of that very fact - it was not until after the Buddha's
parinibbāna that Ānanda was able to realise Arahantship. Buddhaghosa gives a
long account of Ānanda's struggle for final emancipation (DA.i.9ff.); see also
Vin.ii.286. Though he was not an arahant he had the patisambhidā, being among
the few who possessed this qualification while yet learners (Sekhā) (
VibhA.388). When it was decided by Mahā Kassapa and others that a Convocation
should be held to systematise the Buddha's teachings, five hundred monks were
chosen as delegates, among them, Ānanda. He was, however, the only non-arahant (sekha)
among them, and he had been enjoined by his colleagues to put forth great effort
and repair this disqualification. At length, when the convocation assembled, a
vacant seat had to be left for him. It had not been until late the previous
night that, after a final supreme effort, he had attained the goal. He had been
occupied in consoling the laity after the Buddha's death and had had no time for
practising meditation. In the end it was a devatā in the woodland grove in
Kosala, where he was staying, who pointed out the urgency of the matter
(S.i.199-200); but see ThagA.i.237, where the credit for this is given to a
It is said that he won sixfold abhiññā when he was just lying down to sleep,
his head hardly on the pillow, his feet hardly off the ground. He is therefore
described as having become an arahant in none of the four postures. When he
appeared in the convocation, Mahā Kassapa welcomed him warmly and shouted three
times for joy. According to the Majjhimabhānakā, says Buddhaghosa, Ānanda
appeared on his seat while the others looked on, having come through the earth;
according to others he came through the air. According to ThagA.ii.130, it was a
Brahmā of the Suddhāvāsa who announced Ānanda's attainment of arahantship to his
colleagues at the Convocation.
In the convocation, Ānanda was appointed to answer Mahā Kassapa's questions,
and to co-operate with him in rehearsing the Dhamma (as opposed to the Vinaya).
ānanda came to be known as Dhammabhandāgārika, owing to his skill in
remembering the word of the Buddha; it is said that he could remember everything
spoken by the Buddha, from one to sixty thousand words in the right order; and
without missing one single syllable (ThagA.iii.134).
In the first four Nikāyas of the Sutta Pitaka, every sutta begins with the
words "Thus have I heard," the "I" referring to Ānanda. It is not stated that
ānanda was present at the preaching by the Buddha of every sutta, though he was
present at most; others, the Buddha repeated to him afterwards, in accordance
with the conditions under which he had become the Buddha's attendant.
We are told that Ānanda had learnt eighty-two thousand dhamma (topics) from
the Buddha himself and two thousand from his colleagues (Thag.v.1024). He had
also a reputation for fast talking; where an ordinary man could speak one word
ānanda could speak eight; the Buddha could speak sixteen words for each one word
of Ānanda (MA.i.283). Ānanda could remember anything he had once heard up to
fifteen thousand stanzas of sixty thousand lines (MA.i.501).
ānanda lived to be very old (one hundred and twenty years, says DhA.ii.99; he
is bracketed with Bakkula, as having lived to a great age, AA.ii.596); a hymn of
praise sung at his death is included at the end of the stanzas attributed to him
in the Theragāthā (Vers.1047-9). That the Buddha's death was a great blow to him
is shown by the stanzas he uttered immediately after the event (D.ii.157). Three
months earlier he had heard for the first time that death of the Buddha was near
at hand and had besought him to live longer. The reply attributed to the Buddha
is a curious one, namely, that on several previous occasions, at Rājagaha and at
Vesālī (See, e.g., D.102f), he had mentioned to Ānanda that he could, if he so
desired, live for a whole kappa, and had hinted that Ānanda should, if he felt
so inclined, request him to prolong his life. Ānanda, however, having failed to
take the hint on these occasions, the opportunity was now past, and the Buddha
must die; the fault was entirely Ānanda's (Ibid., 114-18). It was when Ānanda
was temporarily absent from the Buddha's side that the Buddha had assured Māra
that he would die in three months (Ibid., 105-6).
As the end approached, the Buddha noticed that Ānanda was not by his side; on
enquiry he learnt that Ānanda was outside, weeping and filled with despair at
the thought that the Master would soon be no more, and that he (ānanda) would
have to work out his perfection unaided. The Buddha sent for him and consoled
him by pointing out that whatever is born must, by its very nature, be
dissolved. Three times he said, "For a long time, Ānanda, you have been very
near to me by acts of love, kind and good, never varying, beyond all measure,"
and he exhorted him to be earnest in effort, for he would soon realise
emancipation. (Ibid., 144). It was on this occasion that the Palāsa Jātaka was
Once, earlier, when Udāyi had teased Ānanda for not having benefited from his
close association with the personality of the Master, the Buddha had defended
ānanda, saying, "Say not so, Udāyi; should he die without attaining perfect
freedom from passion, by virtue of his piety, he would seven times win rule over
the devas and seven times be King of Jambudīpa. Howbeit, in this very life shall
ānanda attain to Nibbāna. A.i.228.
ānanda did his best to persuade the Buddha to die in one of the great cities,
such as Rājagaha or Sāvatthi, and not in Kusinārā, the little wattle-and-daub
town (as he called it) in the middle of the jungle. He was not satisfied until
the Buddha had revealed to him the past history of Kusinārā, how it had once
been Kusāvatī, the royal capital of the mighty Mahā Sudassana (D.ii.146).
Just before the Buddha died, Ānanda was commissioned to inform the Mallas of
the impending event, and after the Buddha's death, Anuruddha entrusted him, with
the help of the Mallas of Kusināāa, with all the arrangements for the funeral
(D.ii.158ff). Ānanda had earlier (D.ii.141f) learnt from the Buddha how the
remains of a Tathāgata should be treated, and now he was to benefit by the
At the end of the First Council, the duty of handing down unimpaired the
Digha Nikāya through his disciples was entrusted to Ānanda (DA.i.15). He was
also charged with the duty of conveying to Channa the news that the higher
penalty (brahmadanda) had been inflicted on him by the Sangha. Ānanda had been
deputed by the Buddha himself to carry out this, his last administrative act
(D.ii.154), but Ānanda, not wishing to undertake the responsibility alone
(knowing that Channa had a reputation for roughness), was granted a number of
companions, with whom he visited Channa. The latter expressed repentance and was
pardoned (Vin.ii.290-2). Perhaps it was because both the Buddha and Ānanda's
colleagues knew of his power to settle disputes that he was chosen for this
delicate task. See S. ii.235f., where the Buddha classes him with Sāriputta and
Moggallāna for his ability to settle disputes among the monks.
ānanda's popularity, however, did not save him from the recriminations of his
fellows for some of his actions, which, in their eyes, constituted offences.
Thus he was charged (Vin.ii.288-9) with: (1) having failed to find out from the
Buddha which were the lesser and minor precepts which the Sangha were allowed to
revoke if they thought fit (See D.ii.154); (2) with having stepped on the
Buddha's rainy-season garment when sewing it; (3) with having allowed the
Buddha's body to be first saluted by women (not mentioned elsewhere, but see
Rockhill, op. cit., p.154); (4) with having omitted to ask the Buddha to live on
for the space of a kappa (D.ii.115); and (5) with having exerted himself to
procure the admission of women into the Order (Vin.ii.253).
ānanda's reply was that he himself saw no fault in any of these acts, but
that he would confess them as faults out of faith in his colleagues.
On another occasion he was found fault with (1) for having gone into the
village to beg for alms, clothed in his waist-cloth and nether garment
(Vin.i.298); (2) for having worn light garments which were blown about by the
The last years of his life, Ānanda seems to have spent in teaching and
preaching and in encouraging his younger colleagues. Among those who held
discussions with him after the Buddha's passing away are mentioned Dasama of the
Atthakanagara (M.i.349f), Gopaka Moggallāna (M.iii.7; Thag.ver.1024) and Subha
The Pāli Canon makes no mention of Ānanda's death. Fa Hsien (Giles trans. 44.
The story also occurs in DhA.ii.99ff., with several variations in detail),
however, relates what was probably an old tradition. When Ānanda was on his way
from Magadha to Vesāli, there to die, Ajātasattu heard that he was coming, and,
with his retinue, followed him up to the Rohini River. The chiefs of Vesali also
heard the news and went out to meet him, and both parties reached the river
banks. Ānanda, not wishing to incur the displeasure of either party, entered
into the state of tejokasina in the middle of the river and his body went up in
flames. His remains were divided into two portions, one for each party, and they
built cetiyas for their enshrinement (See also Rockhill, op. cit., 165f).
In the time of Padumuttara Buddha Ānanda had been the son of Ānanda, King of
Hamsavatī, and was therefore a step-brother of Padumuttara. His name was Sumana.
King Ānanda allowed no one but himself to wait on the Buddha. Prince Sumana
having quelled an insurrection of the frontier provinces, the king offered him a
boon as reward, and he asked to be allowed to entertain the Buddha and his monks
for three months. With great reluctance the king agreed, provided the Buddha's
consent was obtained. When Sumana went to the vihāra to obtain this, he was
greatly impressed by the loyalty and devotion of the Buddha's personal
attendant, the monk Sumana, and by his iddhi-powers. Having learnt from the
Buddha that these were the result of good deeds, he himself determined to lead a
pious life. For the Buddha's residence Prince Sumana bought a pleasaunce named
Sobhana from a householder of that same name and built therein a monastery
costing one hundred thousand. On the way from the capital to Sobhana Park he
built vihāras, at distances of a league from each other. When all preparations
were completed, the Buddha went to Sobhana with one hundred thousand monks,
stopping at each vihāra on the way. At the festival of dedication of the Sobhana
Vihāra, Sumana expressed a wish to become a personal attendant of a future
Buddha, just as Sumana was of Padumuttara. Towards this end he did many good
deeds. In the time of Kassapa Buddha he gave his upper garment to a monk for him
to carry his begging-bowl in it. Later he was born in heaven and again as King
of Benares. He built for eight Pacceka Buddhas
eight monasteries in his royal park (ThagA.iii.121ff) and for ten thousand years
he looked after them. The Apadāna mentions (i.52f) that he became ruler of
heaven thirty-four times and king of men fifty-eight times.
ānanda's name occurs in innumerable Jātakas; he is identified with
- Suriyakumāra in the Devadhamma Jātaka (i.133),
- Cullalohita in the Munika (i.198),
- Pajjuna in the Maccha (i.332),
- Kālakanni in the Kālakanni (i.365),
- Rādha in the Rādha (i.496),
- Potthapāda in the Rādha II. (ii.134),
- Cullanandiya in the Cullanandiya (i.202),
- Gāmanicanda in the Gāmanicanda (ii.310),
- Cullalohita in the Sālūka (ii.420),
- Dabbasena in the Ekarāja (iii.15),
- Potthapāda in the Kalābu (iii.100),
- Bārānasīsetthi in the Pītha (iii.121),
- Vedehatāpasa in the Gandhāra (iii.369),
- Sumangala in the Sumangala (iii.444),
- Anusissa in the Indriya (iii.469),
- Mandavya in the Kanhadīpāyana (iv.37),
- Pottika in the Nigrodha (iv.43),
- Pañca-sikha in the Bilārakosiya (iv.69),
- Rohineyya in the Ghata (iv.69),
- Yudhitthila in the Yuvañjaya (iv.123),
- Bharata in the Dasaratha (iv.130),
- Mātali in the Kanha (iv.186), the Sudhābhojana (v.412), the Nimi (vi.129),
and the Kulāvaka (i.206),
- Kālinga in the Kālingabodhi (iv.236),
- Vissakamma in the Suruci (iv.325),
- Sambhūtapandita in the Sambhūta (iv.401),
- Cittamiga in the Rohantamiga (iv.423),
- Sumukha in the Hamsa (iv.430),
- Anusissa in the Sarabhanga (v.151),
- Somadatta in the Cullasutasoma (v.192),
- Sunanda the charioteer in the Ummadantī (v.227),
- the younger brother of Kusa in the Kusa (v.312),
- Nanda in the Sona-Nanda (v.332),
- Sumukha in the Cūlahamsa (v.334), and the Mahāhamsa (v.382),
- the brahmin Nanda in the Mahā Sutasoma (v.511),
- Somadatta in the Bhūridatta (vi.219).
- He was also the barber in the Makhādeva (i.139),
- the antevāsika in the Asātamanta (i.289),
- the bandit-leader in the Takka (i.299),
- the brahmin in the Sārambha (i.375),
- the Sattubhasta (iii.351), the Palāsa (iii.25), the Junha (iv.100), and
the Sālikedāra (iv.282);
- the tree-sprite in the Kusanāli (i.443),
- the elephant trainer in the Sumedha (i.446),
- the younger brother of the Bodhisatta in the Manikantha (ii.286),
- the marauder in the Seyya (ii.403),
- the inhabitant of a frontier village in the Mahā Assārohaka (iii.13),
- the attendant in the Sankha (iv.22),
- one of the seven brothers in the Bhisa (iv.314),
- the physician Sīvaka in the Sivi (iv.412),
- and the arrow-maker in the Mahā-Janaka (vi.68).
Several times he was born as an animal.
- Thus be was a parrot in the Saccankira (i.327), the Abbhantara (ii.400)
and the Mahā-ummagga (vi.478),
- a jackal in the Guna (ii.30),
- the father-goose in the Vinīlaka (ii.40),
- the tortoise in the Kacchapa (ii.81),
- the iguana in the Cullapaduma (ii.121),
- the otter in the Sasa (iii.56),
- the younger swan in the Neru (iii.248),
- the crab in the Suvannakakkataka (iii.298),
- the wise nāga in the Mahāpaduma (iv.196),
- the tawny dog in the Mahābodhi (v.246)
- and the vulture king in the Kunāla (v.456).
He was many times king:
- in the Nigrodhamiga (i.153),
- the Kukkura (i.178),
- the Bhojājānīya (i.181),
- the Ājañña (i.182),
- the Tittha (i.185),
- the Mahilāmukha (i.188),
- the Mudulakkhana (i.306),
- the Kuddāla (i.315),
- the Mahāsupina (i.345),
- the Attisa (i.354),
- the Mahāsāra (i.387),
- the Sālittaka (i.420),
- the Bandhanamokkha (i.440),
- the Ekapanna (i.508),
- the Gagga (ii.17),
- the Suhanu (ii.32),
- the Mora (ii.38),
- the Susīma (ii.50),
- the Gijjha (ii.52),
- the Kalyānadhamma (ii.65),
- the Kalāyamutthi (ii.76),
- the Sangāmāvacara (ii.95),
- the Vālodaka (ii.97),
- the Giridanta (ii.99),
- the Pabbatūpatthara (ii.127),
- the Punnanadī (ii.175),
- the Kacchapa (ii.178),
- the Kosiya (ii.209),
- the Guttila (ii.257),
- the Sankappa (ii.277),
- the Kundaka-Kucchi-Sindhava (ii.291)
- the Siri (ii.415),
- the Nānacchanda (ii.429),
- the Supatta (ii.436),
- the Chavaka (iii.30),
- the Sayha (iii.33),
- the Brahmadatta (iii.81),
- the Rājovāda (iii.112),
- the Kesava (iii.145),
- the Sussondi (iii.190),
- the Avāriya (iii.232),
- the Nandiyamiga (iii.274),
- the Dhajavihetha (iii.307),
- the Kukku (iii.321),
- the Sutanu (iii.330),
- the Atthisena (iii.355),
- the Mahākapi (iii.375),
- the Dalhadhamma (iii.388),
- the Susīma (iii.397),
- the Atthasadda (iii.434),
- the Atthāna (iii.478),
- the Cullabodhi (iv.27),
- the Mātiposaka (iv.95),
- the Bhaddasāla (iv.157),
- the Mittāmitta (iv.199),
- the Amba (iv.207),
- the Javahamsa (iv.218),
- the Dūta (iv.228),
- the Rurumiga (ii.263),
- the Sarabhamiga (ii.275),
- the Uddālaka (iv.304),
- the Dasabrāhmana (iv.368),
- the Bhikkhāparampara (iv.374),
- the Sattigumba (iv.437),
- the Kumbha (v.20),
- the Tesakuna (v.125)
- and the Sāma (vi.95).
He was King of Benares in the Kāka (i.486), the Tacasāra (iii.206) and the
Sankhapāla (v.177); King Mallika in the Rājovāda (ii.5), the Kosala King in the
Manikundala (iii.155), King Vanka in the Ghata (iii.170), the Kosavya King in
the Dhūmakāri (iii.402), King Addhamāsaka in the Gangamāla (iii.454), and King
Dhanañjaya in the Sambhava (v.67), and the Vidhurapandita (vi.329).
In the Mahā Nāradakassapa Jātaka (J.vi.255) Ānanda was born as Rujā, daughter
of King Angati.
The Dhammapada Commentary (i.327) states that once when Ānanda was a
blacksmith he sinned with the wife of another man. As a result, he suffered in
hell for a long time and was born for fourteen existences as some one's wife,
and it was seven existences more before the results of his evil deed were
There seems to be some confusion as to the time at which Ānanda entered the
Order. In the Canonical account (E.g., Vin.ii.182) he became a monk in the
second year of the Buddha's ministry. In the verses attributed to him in the
Theragātha (Vers.1039ff), however, he says that he has been for twenty five
years a learner (sekha). It is concluded from this that Ānanda must have joined
the Order only in the twentieth year after the Enlightenment and the whole story
of his having been ordained at the same time as Devadatta is discredited. (See,
e.g., Thomas: op. cit., 123. See also Rhys Davids' article on Devadatta in ERE).
The verses occur in a lament by Ānanda that his master is dead and that he is
yet a learner. The twenty-five years which Ānanda mentions probably refer to the
period during which he had been the Buddha's personal attendant and not to his
whole career as a monk. During that period, "though he was but a learner, no
thoughts of evil arose in him," the implication being that his close connection
with the Buddha and his devotion to him gave no room for such. He, nevertheless,
laments that he could not become an asekha while the Buddha was yet alive. If
this interpretation be accepted - and I see no reason why it should not be -
there is no discrepancy in the accounts of Ānanda's ordination.
2. Ānanda. A Khattiya king of Hamsavati, father of Padumuttara Buddha
(J.i.37; Bu.xii.19). He had, by another wife, a daughter Nandā, who became the
therī Pakulā in the present age (ThigA.91). Once, with twenty of his ministers
and twenty thousand of his subjects, he appeared before Padumuttara Buddha at
Mithilā and, having received the "ehi-bhikkhu-pabbajjā," they became arahants
(MA.ii.722; DA.ii.488). The Buddha went back with them to Hamsavatī where he
preached the Buddhavamsa (BuA.160).
One of Ānanda's sons was the prince Sumana, step-brother to Padumuttara, who
became Ānanda, the personal attendant of Gotama Buddha. ThagA.ii.122.
3. Ānanda.Step-brother of Mangala Buddha. He came to Mangala Buddha
with ninety crores of followers; having heard the Buddha's preaching, they all
became arahants. J. i.30.
4. Ānanda.Son of Tissa Buddha, his mother being Subhaddā.
5. Ānanda.Son of Phussa Buddha, his mother being Kisāgotami
(Bu.xix.16). The Buddhavamsa Commentary (p.192), however, gives his name as
6. Ānanda. A Pacceka Buddha of ninety-one kappas ago. The thera
Citakapūjaka, in a previous birth, came down from the deva-loka and cremated the
Pacceka Buddha's body with due honour (Ap.i.227). According to the Majjhima
Nikāya and its Commentary (M.iii.70; MA.ii.890), there were four Pacceka Buddhas
of this name.
7. Ānanda. A king of vultures. He dwelt with ten thousand vultures in
Gijjhakūta and came to hear Kunāla preach. At the end of Kunāla's sermon Ānanda,
too, discoursed in the same strain, dwelling on the evil qualities of women
"keeping to facts within his knowledge" (J.v.424, 447-50). He lived in the
Kunāladaha with Nārada, Devala, Punnamukha, the cuckoo, and Kunāla (SnA.i.359).
In the present age the vulture-king was Ānanda Thera, the Buddha's attendant
8. Ānanda. A king of fishes, appointed by the fishes themselves to
rule over them (J.i.207; ii.352). He was one of the six monsters of the deep. He
lived on one side of the ocean and all the fishes came to him morning and
evening to pay their respects. He lived on rock-slime (sevāla) till one day he
swallowed, by mistake, a fish. Liking the taste very much, be found out what it
was, and from that day he ate fish, unknown to his subjects. Seeing their
numbers diminish, they began to grow inquisitive, and one day one of their wise
ones hid in the lobe of Ānanda's ear and discovered him eating the fish which
straggled behind. When this was reported to the other fish, they fled in terror
and hid themselves. Ānanda, desirous of eating them, searched everywhere;
believing that they lay inside a mountain, he encircled it with his body. Seeing
his own tail on the other side of the mountain and believing it to be a fish
trying to escape, he crunched it in a rage. The tail was fifty leagues long and
he suffered excruciating pain. Attracted by the smell of blood, the fish
collected round and ate him bit by bit. His skeleton was as big as a mountain,
and holy ascetics, flying through the air and seeing it below them, told men
about it and the story became famous throughout Jambudīpa. Kālahatthi is
reported as relating this story to the king in the Mahā Sutasoma Jātaka
(J.v.462-4). Ānanda is referred to as an example of great deceitfulness.
9. Ānanda. A yakkha to whom a shrine, called the Ānanda Cetiya, was
dedicated. The Cetiya was in Bhoganagara and was later converted into a Buddhist
Vihāra (AA.ii.550). There the Buddha stayed during his last sojourn, and mention
is made of a sermon he preached there to the monks on the Four Great Authorities
(cattāro mahāpadesā) (D.ii.123-6; A.ii.167). From there he went to Pāvā.
10. Ānanda. A banker of Sāvatthi. He had eighty crores of money, but
was a great miser. He had a son, Mūlasiri, and once a fortnight he would gather
his kinsfolk together and, in their presence, admonish his son as to the
desirability of amassing wealth, always increasing it, giving none away. When
the banker died he was born in a Candāla family outside the city gates. The king
appointed Mūlasiri banker in his place.
From the time of Ānanda's conception among the Candālas, misfortune dogged
their footsteps. Knowing that a Jonah had come among them, they caused a search
to be made and, as a result of their investigations, they sent the pregnant
mother away. When the child was born he was a monstrosity with his organs all
out of place. When old enough, he was given a potsherd and told to beg his
living. One day he came to the house in which he had lived in his former life,
and though he managed to enter it, he was discovered and thrown out by the
servants. The Buddha happened to be passing by, and sending for Mūlasiri, he
told him that the beggar had been his father. Being convinced by certain proofs,
Mūlasiri believed and took refuge in the Buddha (DhA.ii.25-8; the story is
referred to in the Milindapañha p.350). It is said that eighty-four thousand
beings attained deathlessness on the occasion of the Buddha preaching to
Mūlasiri about his father Ānanda. AA.i.57.
11. Ānanda.Author of the Mūlatikā on Buddhaghosa's
Commentaries on the Abhidhamma (Gv.60, 69; Sas.69). He was originally a native
of India, but came over to Ceylon and became head of the Vanavāsi fraternity in
the Island. He probably lived about the eighth or ninth century A.D. and wrote
the Mūlatikā at the request of a monk named Buddhamitta. He is probably
identical with Ānanda, teacher of Culla Dhammapāla (see below) (P.L.C.202f.;
216f). He was also known as Vanaratana Tissa from his connection with the
12. Ānanda. Teacher of Culla Dhammapāla, author of the Saccasankhepa.
The Saddhamma Sanghala (ix) says that Ānanda was the author of the Saccasankhepa.
See also above (ānanda 11).
13. Ānanda. Teacher of Buddhappiya, author of the Rūpasiddhi. He was a
native of Ceylon, for Buddhapiya refers to him as "Tambapannid-dhaja." He too
belonged to the Vanavāsi sect and wrote a Sinhalese interverbal translation to
Piyadassi's Pada-Sādhana and another to the Khudda-Sikkhā. He was a disciple of
Udumbaragiri Medhankara, pupil of Sāriputta, and he probably lived in the time
of Vijayabāhu III. (P.L.C. 211).
He was the teacher of Vedeha, author of the Samantakūavannanā (P.L.C. 220).
See also Buddhavamsa Vanaratana Ānanda.
14. Ānanda.Author of the Saddhammopāyana, also called
Abhayagiri-Kavicakravarti Ānanda and probably belonging to the same period as
ānanda (13). His friend and companion, for whom his book was written, was
Buddhasoma. An Ānanda, probably a later writer, is also the author of a
Sinhalese Commentary on the Saddhammopāyana. P.L.C.212.
15. Ānanda.Companion of Chapata and co-founder of the Sīhala-Sangha
of Burma (Sās.65). He was later cut off from the community for trying to send to
his kinsfolk an elephant presented to him by King Narapati. His companions
suggested that the animal should be let loose in the forest, in accordance with
the Buddha's teaching regarding kindness to animals. Ānanda's reply was that the
Buddha had also preached kindness to kinsfolk ( Bode: op. cit., 24). He died in
1246 (Forehammer: Jardine Prize Essay, p.35).
16. Ānanda.Of Hamsavatī. Author of the Madhusāratthadīpanī, a tīkā on
the Abhidhamma. Sās.48; but see Bode: op. cit., 47-8.
17. Ānanda.Called Mānava, in order to distinguish him from others. He
was a brahmin youth, maternal cousin of the therī
Uppalavannā, with whom he had been in love
when she was a laywoman. One day when Upalavannā returned from her alms-rounds
to her hut in Andhavana, where she was living
at the time, Ānandamānava, who was hiding under her bed, jumped up and seized
her. In spite of her protestations and admonitions, he overcame her resistance
by force and, having worked his will of her, went away. As if unable to endure
his wickedness, the earth burst asunder and he was swallowed up in Avīci
In order that such assaults should not be repeated,
Pasenadi Kosala erected, at the Buddha's
suggestion, a residence for the nuns within the city gates, and henceforth they
lived only within the precincts of the city (DhA.ii.51f).