A celebrated sage, composer and reciter of sacred runes, mentioned together with nine others (Vāmaka, Vāmadeva, Vessāmitta, Yamataggi, Aṅgīrasa, Bhāradvāja, Vāseṭṭha and Bhagu), Vin.i.245 DN.i.104 as the ancient sages of the brahmins. They abstained from food at unseasonable times. They were the first teachers of the Tevijja Brahmins DN.i.238 and great sacrifices were conducted by them. AN.iv.61
Various teachings are attributed to them, e.g. that they recognised five kinds of Brahmins—brahmasama, devasama, mariyāda, sambhinnamariyāda, and brāhmaṇacaṇḍāla. AN.iii.224ff. These sages did not claim to have discerned and realised the five qualities-truth, austerities, chastity, study and munificence—specified by the brahmins for the attainment of merit and the achievement of what is right, MN.ii.199–200 though their followers behaved as if they did. Nor did they claim that they personally saw and knew that “here alone resides the truth and everything else is vain.”. MN.ii.169
Aṭṭhaka may be identified with Aṣṭaka mentioned as the author of Ṛg Veda 10.104 or else with Atri, author of Ṛg Veda 5.5.
A Pacceka Buddha mentioned in a nominal list. MN.iii.70