Mentioned in a list of well known leaders of the Ajivakas, the others being Kisa Saṅkicca and Makkhali Gosāla. MN.i.524 They were declared by Purāṇa Kassapa, in his classification of the six classes, to be of the pure white class. AN.iii.384

The austerities practised by Nanda Vaccha are detailed in the Mahā Saccaka Sutta. MN.i.238


The Buddha’s half-brother. He became a monk, but was dissatisifed due to longing for his beautiful former partner. The Buddha shows him the bauty of the celestial nymphs, beside whom his beloved looked like a scalded she-monkey with nose and ears cut off. The Buddha promised Nanda 500 such nymphs if he were to stay as a monk. He remained in robes, but later became ashamed of his purpose and practiced sincerely, attaining arahantship. Ud.iii.2 His Theragāthā verses speak of his struggle with desire. Thag.157f.

Later, on seeing how eminently Nanda was trained in self control, the Buddha declared him chief among his disciples in that respect. AN.i.25

Nanda was very beautiful, and was only four inches shorter than the Buddha. He once wore a robe made according to the dimensions of the Buddha’s robe. Discovering this, the Buddha chided him for his presumption. Vin.iv.173 Another time Nanda is said to have donned a robe which was pressed on both sides, painted his face, and gone to see the Buddha, carrying a bright bowl. The Buddha chided him, and Nanda thereupon became a forest dweller and a rag-robe-man. SN.ii.281

The Aṅguttara Nikāya AN.iv.166f. contains a discourse in which the Buddha discusses Nanda’s claim to have achieved self control in all things.


One of the chief disciples of Bāvarī. His conversation with the Buddha is recorded in the Nanda māṇavaapucchā. Snp.1007 Snp.1124


He was a cowherd of Kosambi. One day he heard the Buddha preach to the monks, using as simile a log of wood how, in certain circumstances, it finds its way direct to the sea and how, similarly, a monk may reach nibbina. Nanda asked permission to join the Order. But the Buddha insisted that he should first return the cattle, for which he was responsible, to their owners. Nanda did so, and was then ordained, becoming an arahant soon after. SN.iv.181


A devaputta who visited the Buddha and had a conversation with him. S.i.62.


A monk whose Theragāthā verse extolls the virtues of the homeless life. Thag.36


The Isigili Sutta mentions four Pacceka Buddhas of this name. MN.iii.70