He was born in the family of a householder of Suppāraka in the Sunāparanta country. One day he asked the Buddha for a short lesson so that, having learnt it, he might go back to dwell in Sunāparanta. The Buddha preached to him the Puṇṇovāda Sutta. MN.iii.267ff. His Theragāthā verse speaks of the value of virtue. Thag.70


A servitor who held the oblation ladles for the seven sages, mentioned in the Assalāyana Sutta MN.ii.157 ; they were rebuked by Asita Devala for their pretensions regarding the superiority of brahmins.


A naked ascetic who visited the Buddha at Haliddavasana, together with Seniya Kukkuravatika. Puṇṇa questioned the Buddha regarding the practices of Seniya, while Seniya did likewise regarding those of Puṇṇa. The discussion is recorded in the Kukkuravatika Sutta. At the end of the discussion, Puṇṇa declared himself a follower of the Buddha. He is called one who keeps a vow to behave like a cow. MN.i.387ff.


Sāriputta, hearing of the fame of Puṇṇa, wished to meet him, and went to Andhavana, where Puṇṇa was spending his siesta. Sāriputta questioned him on the seven acts of purity, and Puṇṇa answered him. The two monks found great joy in each other’s words. The interview with Sāriputta is given in the Rathavinīta Sutta. MN.i.146ff.

The Buddha declared Puṇṇa to be pre-eminent among those who preached the Dhamma. AN.i.23 SN.ii.156

Besides the Rathavinīta Sutta mentioned above, which bears testimony to Puṇṇa’s skill as a preacher, another Sutta, of the Saṃyutta Nikāya, SN.iii.105f. represents Ānanda as saying to the assembled monks that Puṇṇa was of great help to himself and others when they were yet novices; Puṇṇa had preached to them on causation, and they were able to understand the Doctrine because of his skilful exposition.