Only son of Gotama Buddha. When the Buddha visited Kapilavatthu for the first time after his Enlightenment and accepted Suddhodana’s invitation, Rāhula’s mother sent the boy to the Buddha to ask for his inheritance. The Buddha gave him no answer, and, at the conclusion of the meal, left the palace. Rāhula followed him, reiterating his request until at last the Buddha asked Sāriputta to ordain him. When Suddhodana heard of this he protested to the Buddha, and asked as a boon that, in future, no child should be ordained without the consent of his parents, and to this the Buddha agreed. Vin.i.82f.
When Rāhula was seven years old, the Buddha preached to him the Ambalaṭṭhikā Rāhulovāda Sutta as a warning that he should never lie, even in fun. Rāhula used to accompany the Buddha on his begging rounds.
Rāhula noticed that he harboured carnal thoughts fascinated by his own physical beauty and that of his father, the Buddha preached to him, at the age of eighteen, the Mahā Rāhulovāda Sutta. Two other suttas, also called Rāhulovāda, one included in the Saṃyutta and the other in the Aṅguttara, formed the topics for Rāhula’s meditation.
Later, the Buddha, knowing that Rāhula’s mind was ripe for final attainment, went with him alone to Andhavana, and preached to him the Cūḷa Rāhulovāda Sutta. At the end of the discourse, Rāhula became an arahant, together with one hundred thousand crores of listening devas.
The Buddha declared Rāhula foremost among those of his disciples who were anxious for training. AN.i.24 The Vinaya Vin.iii.16 gives a story illustrating Rāhula’s extreme conscientiousness in the observance of rules. He arrived one evening at Kosambī, when the Buddha was staying there in the Badarikārāma. Rāhula was told there of a new rule which had been laid down to the effect that no novice should sleep under the same roof as a fully ordained monk. Unable to find any resting place which did not violate this rule, Rāhula spent the night in the Buddha’s bathroom. When the Buddha discovered him there the next morning, he modified the rule.
Four verses uttered by Rāhula are included in the Theragāthā, where he says he s twice blessed to be an arahant and the Buddha’s son. Thag.295–298