An eminent arahant, declared chief among monks skilled in creating forms by mind-power and in mental “evolution” (cetovivaṭṭa). AN.i.23
His Theragathā verses speak of how slow his progress was in Dhamma, so much so that his brother rejected him from the monastery. But the Buddha took him by the arm and gave him a foot-towel as a meditation. He attained Awakening and many psychic powers, especially the ability to create manifold replicas of himself.
It is said Vin.iv.54f. that when it was his turn to teach the nuns at Sāvatthī they expected no effective teaching, since he always repeated the same stanza. One day, at the end of the lesson, he overheard their remarks, and forthwith gave an exhibition of his magical powers and of his wide knowledge of the Buddha’s teachings. The nuns listened with great admiration until after sunset, when they were unable to gain entrance to the city. The Buddha heard of this and warned Cūḷapanthaka not to keep the nuns so late.
The Udāna Ud.v.10 contains a verse sung by the Buddha in praise of Cūḷapanthaka.