A monk who was occasionally the attendant of the Buddha, and who features in a number of discourses. Once when the Buddha was attacked by cramp, Upavāna, with the help of his lay-friend Devahita, obtained hot water and suitable medicines, with which the ailment was healed; the Buddha, thereupon, expressed his gratitude. SN.i.174f.
When the Buddha lay on his death-bed at Kusināra, Upavāna was by his side fanning him; the Buddha, seeing that he obstructed the vision of the devas who had come to pay their last homage to the Teacher, asked Upavāna to move away. DN.ii.138f.
Two occasions are mentioned on which Upavāna consulted the Buddha on matters of doctrine, once regarding the arising of suffering SN.ii.41–2 and once on the immediate and practical use of the Dhamma. SN.iv.41 There is also recorded a visit of Upavāna to Sāriputta when they were both staying in the Ghositārāma at Kosambī. Sāriputta asks him about the bojjhangas as being conducive to a happy life and Upavāna explains. SN.v.76 On another occasion Upavāna is the enquirer, and he asks Sāriputta about the “end-maker”; Sāriputta explains that the “end-maker” is the one who knows and sees things as they really are. AN.ii.163
When an unpleasant interview took place between Sāriputta and Lāludāyī and no one was found to support Sāriputta, the matter is reported to the Buddha, who declares that Ānanda should have taken Sāriputta’s side. Soon afterwards Ānanda seeks Upavāna and tells him that he was too timid to interfere, and if the Buddha referred to the matter again, would Upavāna undertake to answer? In the evening the Buddha engages Upavāna in conversation and asks him to explain the five qualities which make a monk esteemed and loved by his colleagues. At the end of the discourse the Buddha applauds Upavāna. AN.iii.195f.