1. Isidatta.– A thera. He was the son of a caravan guide at Vaḍḍhagāma (v.l. Veḷugāma) in Avanti. By correspondence he became the unseen friend of Citta-
Isidatta had been a householder in the time of Vipassī Buddha and once, having seen the Buddha walking along the street and being pleased with his demeanour, he gave him an āmoda-
According to the Saṃyuttanikāya (iv.283‑8, also AA.i.210), Isidatta was once staying with a number of senior monks at Macchikāsaṇḍa in the Ambāṭaka grove. Citta-
2. Isidatta.– An equerry or chamberlain (ṭhapati) of Pasenadi, King of Kosala. Isidatta is always mentioned with Purāṇa. Their duty was to look after the ladies of the king’s harem when these went riding the elephant into the park. This often brought them into close contact with the ladies, and they confessed to the Buddha that it was difficult not to have evil thoughts regarding them.
Isidatta and Purāṇa were once at Sādhuka on some business (their own property, according to Buddhaghosa, SA.i.215). They heard that the Buddha was having a robe made before starting on his rounds and they waited for an opportunity to talk to him. When the opportunity came they followed the Buddha and told him how glad they always were when he was near them and how sad when he was away on tour. The Buddha teaches to them the glory of the homeless life and urges them to put forth energy. He speaks very appreciatively of their loyalty to him and to his religion and congratulates them on the possession of virtuous qualities, such as sharing all their goods with holy men, a rare quality (S.v.348‑52; Netti. 134 f).
According to the Saṃyuttanikāya Commentary (i.215), Isidatta was a Once-
In the Dhammacetiya Sutta (M.ii.123 f), Pasenadi tells the Buddha how impressed he is by the reverence Isidatta and Purāṇa show for the Buddha and his teachings. “They are my carriage-
Once the king spent the night in a cramped little house. Isidatta and Purāṇa, who were with him, having spent the best part of the night in discussing the Doctrine, lay down to rest with their heads in the direction in which they thought the Buddha to be, and their feet towards the king!
Isidatta was the uncle of the woman-
Purāṇa is described as celibate (brahmacāri), but not Isidatta, yet, after death, they were both born in Tusita. Migasālā asks Ānanda how it was that people of different characters could have the same rebirth. A.iii.348 f; v.138 f., 143 f. From MA.ii.756, it would appear as if Isidatta was the brahmacāri. The word cannot here mean “celibate,” for Purāṇa must have had a wife because Migasālā calls him her father (pitā).¹
Isidatta is mentioned by the Buddha among those who had the six qualities that brought realisation of immortality — unwavering loyalty to the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Saṅgha, Ariyan virtue, wisdom and liberation (A.iii.451).
¹ Of course, he may well have become a brahmacāri after having children, and may have remained living with his wife, but not indulging in sexual relations.
3. Isidatta.– King of Soreyya. Anomadassī Buddha taught him and to eighty thousand of his followers. They all became Arahants. BuA.143‑4.
4. Isidatta.– One of the three leaders of the monks in Sri Lanka during the time that Brāhmanatissa-