As an ascetic, he came himself to believe that he had attained arahantship, but a devatā, reading his thoughts and wishing him well, pointed out to him his error and advised him to seek the Buddha at Sāvatthī. By the power of the devatā, Bāhiya reached Sāvatthī in one night, a distance of one hundred and twenty leagues, and was told that the Buddha was in the city begging alms. Bāhiya followed him thither and begged to be taught something for his salvation. Twice he asked and twice the Buddha refused, saying that it was not the hour for teaching. But Bāhiya insisted, saying that life was uncertain and that the Buddha or he might die.

The Buddha then taught him the proper method of regarding all sense experiences—namely, as experiences and no more. Even as he listened, Bāhiya became an arahant and the Buddha left him. Shortly after, Bāhiya was gored to death by a cow with calf. The Buddha, seeing his body lying on the dung heap, asked the monks to remove it and to have it burnt, erecting a thūpa over the remains. In the assembly he declared Bāhiya to be foremost among those who instantly comprehended the Truth. AN.i.24 Ud.i.10


A monk. He is said to have, come to the Buddha asking for a teaching in brief and the Buddha told him to dwell on the impermanence of the senses and of sense objects. Profiting by the lesson, Bāhiya dwelt apart and, putting forth effort, soon became an arahant. SN.iv.63f.

It is perhaps the same monk—called Bāhiya or Bāhika—who is mentioned elsewhere SN.v.165f. as asking for the Buddha for a lesson and being told to meditate on the four satipaṭṭhānas. This contemplation led to arahantship.


A monk, fellow dweller of Anuruddha at the Ghositārāma. He seems to have taken a prominent part in the disputes of the Kosambī monks, helping them, but Anuruddha let him take his own way, not protesting at all. AN.ii.239