A monk whose Theragāthā verses speak of never relinquishing energy, whether ill or happy, while meditating in the forest. Thag.350–354 The Buddha declared him foremost among those of implicit faith. AN.i.25 In the Pārāyanavagga Snp.1146 the Buddha is represented as holding Vakkali up to Piṅgiya as an example of one who won emancipation through faith.
In the Saṃyutta, SN.iii.119ff. Vakkali fell ill while on his way to visit the Buddha at Rājagaha, and was carried in a litter to a potter’s shed in Rājagaha. There, at his request, the Buddha visited him and comforted him. He questioned Vakkali, who assured him that he had no cause to reprove himself with regard to morals; his only worry was that he had not been able to see the Buddha earlier. The Buddha told him that seeing the Dhamma was equivalent to seeing him, and because Vakkali had realized the Dhamma, there would be no hereafter for him. After the Buddha had left, Vakkali asked his attendants to take him to Kāḷasilā on Isigili. The Buddha was on Gijjhakūṭa and was told by two devas that Vakkali was about to “obtain release.” The Buddha sent word to him— “Fear not, Vakkali, your dying will not be evil.” Vakkali rose from his bed to receive the Buddha’s message, and sending word to the Buddha that he had no desire or love for the body or the other khandhas, he drew a knife and killed himself. The Buddha went to see his body, and declared that he had obtained Nibbāna and that Māra’s attempt to find the consciousness of Vakkali would prove useless.