A Licchavi general of Vesāli. He was a follower of the Nigaṇṭhas. When the Buddha visited Vesāli, Sīha, having heard reports of his greatness, wished to see him, but Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta dissuaded him, saying that Gotama denied the result of actions and was not worth a visit. But in the end Sīha, accompanied by five hundred chariots, went to the Buddha. Having discovered in conversation with the Buddha that he was falsely accused of preaching wrong doctrines, Sīha declared himself the Buddha’s follower. The Buddha accepted his adherence on condition that he would continue to give alms to any Nigaṇṭhas who sought them at his house. This generosity made Sīha honour the Buddha even more highly, and he invited him and the monks to a meal on the next day. Meat formed one of the dishes, and the Nigaṇṭhas went about Vesāli crying that Sīha had killed a large ox to provide meat for the Buddha and his monks and that the food had been accepted. This was the occasion for the formulation of the rule that no monk should eat flesh where he has reason to believe that the animal had been specially killed for him. Vin.i.233f. AN.iv.179f.

The Aṅguttara Nikāya AN.iii.38f. AN.iv.79f. contains two discussions, in more or less identical terms, in which Sīha asks the Buddha if it is possible to show the visible results of giving. The Buddha, by means of a counter question, elicits from Sīha that the giver has his reward in this world itself, and in the end Sīha acknowledges that he has experienced the benefits which the Buddha set forth.


A monk whose Theragāthā verse speaks of remaining vigilent by day and night. Thag.83


A novice who entered the Order at the age of seven and was a great favourite among the monks for his charm. He was much liked by the Buddha. He was a student under Nāgita, and was with him when the Buddha once stayed in Vesāli. Seeing a great number of people coming to visit the Buddha, he informed Nāgita of this, and, with his permission, went to tell the Buddha. This led to the preaching of the Mahāli Sutta. DN.i.151