1. Nanda Thera
Son of Suddhodana and
Mahāpajāpatī, and therefore half
brother of the Buddha. He was only a few
days younger than the Buddha, and when the Buddha's mother died,
Pajapati gave her own child to
nurses and suckled the Buddha herself (AA.i.186).
On the third day of the Buddha's visit to
Kapilavatthu, after the Enlightenment, the Buddha went to Nanda's house,
where festivities were in progress in honour of Nanda's coronation and marriage
to Janapadakalyānī Nandā. The
Buddha wished Nanda good fortune and handed him his bowl to be taken to the
vihāra. Nanda, thereupon, accompanied the Buddha out of the palace.
Janapadakalyānī, seeing him go, asked him to return quickly. Once inside the
vihāra, however, the Buddha asked Nanda to become a monk, and he, unable to
refuse the request, agreed with reluctance. But as the days passed he was
tormented with thoughts of his beloved, and became very downcast and despondent,
and his health suffered. The Buddha suggested that they should visit the
Himālaya. On the way there, he showed Nanda the charred remains of a female
monkey and asked him whether Janapadakalyānī were more beautiful than that. The
answer was in the affirmative. The Buddha then took him to
Sakka, with his most beautiful nymphs, waited on them. In answer to a
question by the Buddha, Nanda admitted that these nymphs were far more
attractive than Janapadakalyānī, and the Buddha promised him one as wife if he
would live the monastic life. Nanda was all eagerness and readily agreed. On
their return to Jetavana the Buddha related this
story to the eighty chief disciples, and when they questioned Nanda, he felt
greatly ashamed of his lustfulness. Summoning all his courage, he strove hard
and, in no long time, attained arahantship. He thereupon came to the Buddha and
absolved him from his promise. (Thag.157f.; J. i.91; ii.92ff.; Ud.iii.2; DhA.i.96
105; UdA.168ff.; SnA.273f.)
The Buddha shows
Sakka's divine nymphs to
Nanda to clear his amorous craving.
When the Buddha was told of Nanda's arahantship by a devata, he related the
Sangāmāvacara Jātaka to show how,
in the past, too, Nanda had been quick to follow advice. He also related the
story of Kappata and his donkey to show that it
was not the first time that Nanda had been won to obedience by the lure of the
female sex. The male donkey in the story was Nanda and the female donkey
Nanda is identified with the sub king (uparājā) in the
Later, on seeing how eminently Nanda was trained in self control, the Buddha
declared him chief among his disciples in that respect (indriyesu guttadvārānam).
Nanda had aspired to this eminence in the time of Padumuttara Buddha. In the
time of Atthadassi Buddha he was a tortoise in the river Vinatā, and, seeing the
Buddha on the bank waiting to cross, he took him over to the other side on his
back. (A.i.25; AA.i.174f.; ThagA.i.276ff.)
He is said to have been called Nanda because his birth brought joy to his
kinsmen. The Apadāna (i.57) says he was of
golden hue, as reward for a gift of a costly robe given by him to Padumuttara.
One hundred thousand kappas ago he became king four times under the name of Cela.
Sixty thousand kappas ago he was again king in four births, under the name of
Upacela. Later, five thousand kappas ago, he was four times cakkavatti, and his
name then, too, was Cela.
Nanda was very beautiful, and was only four inches shorter than the Buddha.
He once wore a robe made according to the dimensions of the Buddha's robe.
Discovering this, the Buddha chided him for his presumption (Vin.iv.173).
Perhaps this is another version of the story found at S. ii.281. There, Nanda
is said to have donned a robe which was pressed on both sides, painted his face,
and gone to see the Buddha, carrying a bright bowl. The Buddha chided him, and
Nanda thereupon became a forest dweller and a rag-robe-man.
Buddhaghosa (SA.ii.174) says that Nanda
dressed himself up in order to evoke some comment from the Buddha - either
approval, so that he might dress thus for the remainder of his life, or censure,
in which case he would put on rag robes and dwell in the forest.
The Anguttara Nikaya (A.iv.166f) contains a discourse in which the Buddha
discusses Nanda's claim to have achieved self control in all things.
He is probably to be identified with Taraniya Thera of the Apadāna. (ii.428;
Called Nanda mānava. One of the chief disciples of
Bāvarī; he visited the Buddha: His conversation
with the Buddha is recorded in the Nanda mānavapucchā.
Later, he became an arahant. Sn.vs.1007, 1124.
Called Nanda-Gopālaka. He was a cowherd of
Kosambi. One day he heard the Buddha preach to
the monks, using as simile a log of wood how, in certain
circumstances, it finds its way direct to the sea and how,
similarly, a monk may reach Nibbāna. Nanda asked permission to join the Order.
But the Buddha insisted that he should first return the cattle, for which he was
responsible, to their owners. Nanda did so, and was then ordained, becoming an
arahant soon after. S. iv.181.
4. Nanda Thera
An arahant. In the past he was once a hunter, and, while wandering in the
forest, he saw a Pacceka Buddha named Anuruddha. He built for the Buddha a hut
thatched with lotus flowers, and, having listened to the Buddha's preaching,
became a monk. Soon after he fell ill, died, and was born in Tusita. He
possessed the power of travelling through the air and of walking over the sea.
In this birth he visited the Buddha and questioned him regarding the "further
shore." At the end of the conversation he became an arahant. Ap.ii.350f.
He is probably identical with No. 3 above. See DA.i.122, where Nanda
Gopalaka's questions are given; these seem to correspond with Nanda Thera's
questions about the "further shore."
A herdsman of Anāthapindika, living in
Sāvatthi. He was rich and tended the king's cattle as well. He often, went to
Anāthapindika's house with gifts, and there he saw and heard the Buddha. He
invited the Buddha to his house, but his invitation was not accepted for some
time, until his wisdom should be ripe. But at last the Buddha paid him a visit,
lasting seven days, and Nanda entertained him and his monks with the choicest
foods. On the seventh day the Buddha preached to him and he became a sotapanna.
He accompanied the Buddha part of the way back to the vihāra, but, on his return
journey, was killed by a hunter's arrow. DhA.i.322f.
6. Nanda mānava
A former incarnation of Subhūti Thera (q.v.) in the time of Padumuttara
Buddha. He was a mahāsala Brahmin of Hamsavatī, and later became an ascetic at
the head of forty four thousand Jatilas. After thirty thousand years,
Padumuttara visited him in the forest, and, later, ten thousand of his followers
joined the Buddha. Nanda provided them all with seats made of heavenly flowers,
the Buddha's being one league in height. Nanda stood by the Buddha for seven
days, holding an umbrella made of flowers. Nanda and the rest of his disciples
joined the Order, and all except Nanda became arahants, he being bore in the
Brahma world after death. Later, for five hundred births he was a forest dweller
living alone on Mount Nisabha in Himavā. He was king of the devas for eighty
births. (Ap.i.67; ThagA.i.17f.; AA.i.124f.) He evidently belonged to the Kosiya
A disciple of a Pacceka Buddha named Sabbābhibhū. The Bodhisatta was then a
drunkard, named Munāli, and abused Nanda. It was a result of this that Ciñcā
slandered the Buddha (Gotama). Ap.i.299; UdA.264.
A devaputta who visited the Buddha and had a conversation with him. S. i.62.
One of the three palaces occupied by Vipassī
Buddha in his last lay life. Bu.xx.24.
One of the chief lay supporters of Sikhī Buddha.
v.l Canda. BuA.204.
King of Benares, a former birth of Mahā
Kassapa. He belonged to a poor family, but, owing to his merit in having
covered Kassapa Buddha's cetiya with a golden coverlet, he came to be crowned
king of Benares. He had a kapparukkha, which provided him and his subjects with
divine robes. With the help of his queen - who became
Bhaddakapilā in this life - he
held a great almsgiving to five hundred Pacceka Buddhas, led by
Mahāpaduma, and entertained them up to the
time of their death. Nanda was away, quelling a frontier rebellion, at the time
of their death. On his return, he gave over his kingdom to his eldest son and
became an ascetic. Ap.ii.582; ThagA.ii.139ff.; SA.ii.140f.; the story is also
found at PVA.73ff.; there it is said that Nanda was granted divine clothes
because he had once given his shawl to a Pacceka Buddha for a robe; see also
Nanda's wealth was proverbial. E.g., Pv.ii.1 (vs. 16), iii.2 (vs.16).
One of the chief lay supporters of Mangala Buddha.
13. Nanda. See Nanda Vaccha
A slave, born in this life as the co resident of
Sariputta. For his story see the
A brahmin of Takkasilā, learned in the
Vedas, who supported his parents. He related four verses to Jayaddisa, seated on
a throne, and earned four thousand pieces of money. For details see the
Jayaddisa Jātaka. J. v.23ff.
This is evidently the same story as that related in the
Mahā Sutasoma Jātaka
(J.v.476f.,483). There Nanda is said to have learnt the stanzas from Kassapa
Buddha, and to have come expressly to Indapatta in order to teach them to
Sutasoma. Nanda is identified with Ananda. (Ibid. 511. For details see the
Mahā Sutasoma Jātaka.
Called Nandakumāra. A Brahmin ascetic,
brother of the Bodhisatta in his birth as Sona. Nanda is identified with Ananda.
For details see Sona Nanda Jātaka.
A Brahmin, mentioned in the Milindapanha* as having been swallowed up by the
earth for having insulted the Buddha and his disciples.
*[p.101. This probably refers to the
Brahmin Ananda who raped Uppalavannā
(DhA.ii.49); this is confirmed by MA.ii.814, where Uppalavannā's seducer is
called Nanda mānavaka]
19. Nanda Kumāputta Thera
He was born in Velukanda in
Avanti and his mother was
Kumā. Having heard
Sariputta preach, he entered the Order, visiting the
Buddha later. From the Buddha he obtained a
formula of meditation and became an arahant. (Thag.vs.36; ThagA.i.100) He had a
friend named Sudanta (also called Vāsula)
who, too, became an arahant (Ibid.101).
In the time of Vipassi Buddha, Nanda was an
ascetic, and, having seen the Buddha in the royal park at
Bandhumati, gave him oil to massage his feet.
He is probably to be identified with Abbhañjanadāyaka of the Apadāna. Ap.ii.456.
Nine kings, called the Nava Nandā, reigned in India after the dynasty
of Kālāsoka and his sons. (Mhv.v.15) The
first of the Nava-Nandā was a bandit who captured the throne. Their names are
given in the Mahābodhivamsa (p.98; for
details see MT.177 9) as follows: Uggasena Nanda, Panduka Nanda, Pandugati Nanda,
Bhūtapāla Nanda, Ratthapāla Nanda, Govisānaka-Nanda, Dasasiddhaka Nanda, Kevatta
Nanda and Dhana Nanda. The last was killed by Candagutta with the help of
Cānakka, and his throne was seized. The nine Nandas together reigned for twenty
There were once two butchers named Nanda. One day they killed a cow, and the
younger asked that he might take the head and the tail as he had many children.
The elder refused and was killed by the other. But the murderer had no peace of
mind thereafter, and, on his death, was born in hell. ItvA.82; also AA.i.295;
but here the names are not mentioned.
A distinguished monk in the time of Parakkamabāhu I. He lived in the
Selantara monastery, and was appointed Head of the three fraternities in Rohana.
A butcher who killed cattle for fifty years. One day, having no meat, he cut
off the tongue of a living ox, fried it and started eating it. His own tongue
fell on to his plate. He died in great agony and was born in hell. MA.ii.814.
The Isigili Sutta mentions four Pacceka
Buddhas of this name. M.iii.70.
See s.v. Nandaka.