An eminent disciple of the Buddha, declared by him foremost among forest dwellers. AN.i.24
His Theragāthā verses appear under two names. As Khadiravaniya he admonishes Cāla, Upacāla, and Sīsapacāla to be mindful. Thag.42 The greater part of his verses, where his is called Revata, speak of his good intentions in going forth, and how he has accomplished the Buddha’s path. Thag.645–658
The Buddha declared him chief of the monks who practised jhāna.AN.i.24 Ud.v.9 Thag.3 Before he became an arahant he was greatly troubled in mind as to what was permissible for him to use and what was not, hence his name, “Revata the Doubter”. UdA.314
He is often mentioned in company with other very eminent disciples—e.g., Anuruddha, Nandiya, Kimbila, Kuṇḍadhāna and Ānanda—at the preaching of the Naḷakapāna Sutta. MN.i.462 The Mahāgosiṅga Sutta MN.i.212ff. records a discussion between Moggallāna, Mahā Kassapa, Anuruddha, Revata and Ānanda, and there we find Revata praising, as the highest type of monk, one who delights in meditation and has his habitation in the abodes of solitude.
He was one of the Elders who took a prominent part in the Second Council.
He lived in Soreyya, and, on discovering that the orthodox monks, led by Sambhūta Sānavāsī and Yasa Kākandakaputta, were anxious to consult him, Revata left Soreyya, and, travelling through Saṅkassa, Kaṇṇakujja, Udumbara and Aggalapura, reached Sahajāti. There the monks met him and consulted him regarding the “Ten Points.
He enquired into these, and, after condemning them as wrong, decided to end the dispute. The Vajjiputtakas, too, had tried to win Revata over to their side, but on failing to do so, persuaded Revata’s pupil, Uttara, to accept robes, etc., from them, and speak to his teacher on their behalf. Uttara did this, but was dismissed by Revata as an unworthy pupil.
Revata suggested that the dispute should be settled in Vesāli, and the monks having agreed, he visited Sabbakāmī—who was the oldest monk then living and a pupil of Ānanda—during the night, and talked to him on matters of doctrine. During the conversation, Sānavāsī arrived and questioned Sabbakāmī regarding the Ten Points, but the latter refused to express an opinion in private. On Revata’s suggestion a jury of eight, four from either side, was appointed to go into the question. Revata himself was a member of this jury, and he it was who questioned Sabbakāmī during the meeting, held in Vālikārāma, regarding the Ten Points. All the Ten Points were declared to be wrong, and, at the end of the questions, seven hundred monks—chosen from one hundred and twelve thousand, at the head of whom was Revata—held a recital of the Dhamma, which recital therefore came to be called Sattasatī. Vin.ii.299ff.