A worker in metals living in Pāvā. When the Buddha reached Pāvā on his way to Kusinārā, he stayed in Cunda’s Mango grove. There Cunda visited him and invited him and the monks to a meal the next day. The meal consisted of sweet rice and cakes and sūkaramaddava. At the meal the Buddha ordered that he alone should be served with sūkaramaddava, and that what was left over should be buried in a hole. This was the Buddha’s last meal, as very soon after it he developed dysentery.DN.ii.126 Ud.viii.5 The Buddha, a little while before his death, gave special instructions to Ānanda that he should visit Cunda and reassure him by telling him that no blame at all attached to him and that he should feel no remorse, but should, on the contrary, rejoice, in that he had been able to give to the Buddha a meal which, in merit, far exceeded any other. DN.ii.135f.
The Aṅguttara Nikāya AN.v.263ff. mentions another conversation between the Buddha and Cunda. Cunda tells the Buddha that he approves of the methods of purification laid down by the brahmins of the west (pacchābhūmakā) The Buddha tells him of the teaching of the Ariyans regarding the threefold defilement and purification of the body, the fourfold defilement and purification of the speech, and the threefold defilement and purification of the mind. Cunda accepts the Buddha’s explanations and declares himself his follower.
The books appear to refer to two theras by the name of Cunda, the better known being Mahā-Cunda and the other Cūḷa-Cunda. But the legends connected with them are so confused that it is not possible to differentiate clearly one from the other.
According to the Saṃyutta Nikāya, SN.v.161f. Cunda attended Sāriputta in his last illness and, after his death, brought to the Buddha at Jetavana Sāriputta’s bowl and outer robe and his relics wrapt in his water-strainer.
Mahā-Cunda was evidently a disciple of great eminence, and is mentioned by the Buddha AN.iii.299 MN.iii.78 Ud.i.5 in company with the Two Chief Disciples, Mahā Kassapa, Mahā Koṭṭhita, Mahā Kaccāna and other very eminent Elders.
The Pitakas contain several discourses AN.iii.355 AN.v.41 AN.v.157 given to the monks by Mahā-Cunda while residing at Sahajātī among the Cetis, probably after the Buddha’s death. Cunda (or Cundaka as he is called in this context) was with the Buddha in his last journey to Kusinārā, and spread a bed for him in the Mango grove by the Kakutthā River. DN.ii.134f. Ud.viii.5
Cunda is mentioned SN.iv.50f. MN.iii.263f. as having accompanied Sāriputta when he went to see Channa at the Kalandakanivāpa in Rājagaha, just before Channa’s suicide. Once, when the Buddha lay ill in the Kalandakanivāpa, Cunda visited him and they talked of the bojjhangas. There and then the Buddha’s sickness vanished. SN.v.81