A brahmin, one of the Bhāradvājas. Once, when he was performing Fire-rites on the banks of the Sundarikā, he looked round to see if there were anyone, to whom he could give what was left over from the oblations. He saw the Buddha seated under a tree, his head covered; he approached him with the oblation and a water pitcher and addressed him. The Buddha uncovered his head. The sight of the shaven head at first made Sundarika draw back, but, realizing that some brahmins too were shaved, he questioned the Buddha about his birth. The Buddha explained to him that the important thing was not birth, but the leading of a good life. The brahmin was pleased and offered him the oblation, but the Buddha refused it, saying that he did not accept presents for chanting verses. He advised Sundarika to throw the food into the water, where there were no creatures, for who could digest food which had once been offered to a Buddha? The brahmin followed this advice and saw the water hiss and seethe with steam and smoke. Alarmed and with hair on end, he worshipped the Buddha, who preached to him. SN.i.167f. The account of the meeting between the Buddha and Sundarika is given in the Sutta Nipāta too, Snp.p.79f. but there the details differ greatly, though the topic of discussion is the same. Several additional verses are attributed to the Buddha regarding the true “sacrifice.
Sundarika-Bhāradvāja is also mentioned MN.i.39f. as meeting the Buddha on the banks of the Bāhukā and asking him whether he bathed in that river, because it had the reputation of cleansing sins. The Buddha answered that purity was not to be won that way and preached to him the Vatthūpama Sutta.