A brahmanical matted hair ascetic. He lived in Āpaṇa, and when the Buddha once stayed there with one thousand three hundred and fifty monks, Keṇiya visited the Buddha, bringing various kinds of drinks, which he gave to him and to the monks. The following day he invited the whole company to a meal and showed great hospitality. It was as a result of the drinks offered by Keṇiya that the Buddha laid down a rule as to which drinks were permissible for monks and which were not. Vin.i.245f.
According to the Sutta Nipāta Snp.p.104 MN.ii.146f. it was owing to the elaborate preparations made by Keṇiya for the meal to the Buddha and the Saṅgha that the brahmin Sela, friend and counsellor of Keṇiya, came to discover the Buddha’s presence in Āpaṇa. The result was the conversion and ordination of Sela and his three hundred pupils.