A householder of Macchikāsaṇḍa, where he was Treasurer. He was later declared by the Buddha to be pre-eminent among laymen who preached the Doctrine. AN.i.26

When Mahānāma visited Macchikāsaṇḍa, Citta, pleased with his demeanour, invited him to his park, the Ambātakārāma, and built for him a monastery there. Thereafter many monks visited the Ambātakārāma and accepted Citta’s hospitality. Among them was Isidatta, a former acquaintance of Citta, but Isidatta left when he found that his identity had been discovered. Mahānāma and Mahaka did likewise, after having performed miracles at the request of Citta.

The Citta Saṃyutta SN.iv.282ff. contains a record of conversations between Citta and members of the Order, among whom, besides those already mentioned, were Kāmabhū and Godatta. Citta is also said to have had discussions with Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta and Acela Kassapa and to have refuted their views.

A thera named Sudhamma was a permanent resident in the Ambātakārāma and was looked after by Citta. Once, when the two Chief Disciples and several other eminent Elders came to the Ambātakārāma, Citta invited first these and then Sudhamma; the latter, feeling slighted, blamed Citta beyond measure, but the Buddha, hearing of this, sent Sudhamma to ask for Citta’s pardon. Vin.ii.15ff.

When Citta lay ill just before his death, devas visited him and advised him to wish for kingship among them, but he refused to aspire to anything so impermanent, and instructed the devas and his kinsfolk gathered round him, telling them of the Buddha and his teachings. SN.iv.302f. He is regarded as the ideal layman. AN.i.88 AN.ii.164 AN.iii.451


A monk, son of an elephant trainer, who, having entered the Order, studied under the Buddha and gained special proficiency in distinguishing subtle differences in the meanings of words. Six times he left the Order and six times returned. His last quarrel was with Mahā Koṭṭhita, who objected to his constant interruptions of the Elder’s discussions regarding the Abhidhamma. AN.iii.392ff.

He was a friend of Poṭṭhapāda, and when he had returned for the sixth time to a householder’s life, Poṭṭhapāda brought him to the Buddha. Citta listened to their conversation and asked questions regarding personality. At the end of the discourse Citta once more joined the Order, never again to leave it, for he soon after became an arahant. DN.i.199ff.