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Kaṅkhā-Revata Thera

He belonged to a very wealthy family in Sāvatthi. One day, after his midday meal, he went with others to hear the Buddha teach and, accepting the word of the Buddha, he entered the Order. According to the Apadāna (ii.491), he heard the Buddha teach at Kapilavatthu.

He attained Arahantship by way of practising absorption (jhāna), and so proficient in absorption did he become that the Buddha declared him chief of the monks who practised it (A.i.24; Ud.v.9; AA.i.129 f; Thag.3; ThagA.33 f). Before he became an Arahant he was greatly troubled in mind as to what was permissible for him to use and what was not (akappiyā muggā, na kappanti muggā paribhuñjituṃ). This characteristic of his became well-known, hence his name “Revata the Doubter” (UdA.314).

In the time of Padumuttara Buddha he was a brahmin of Haṃsavatī, well versed in the Vedas. One day, while listening to the Buddha’s teaching, he heard him declare a monk in the assembly as chief among those who practised absorption, and himself wished for the same honour under a future Buddha (Ap.ii.419 f). He is often mentioned in company with other very eminent disciples — e.g., Anuruddha, Nandiya, Kimbila, Kuṇḍadhāna, and Ānanda — at the teaching of the Naḷakapāna Sutta (M.i.462). The Mahāgosiṅga Sutta (M.i.212 ff) records a discussion between Mahā-Moggallāna, Mahā-Kassapa, Anuruddha, Revata, and Ānanda, and there we find Revata praising, as the highest type of monk, one who delights in meditation and has his habitation in the abodes of solitude.

Kaṅkhā-Revata appears to have survived the Buddha.

In the Uttaramātā-petavatthu (PvA.141 ff), Uttara’s mother having been born as a hungry ghost (peta), and having wandered about for fifty-five years without water, came upon Revata enjoying a siesta on the banks of the Gaṅgā and begged him for succour. Having learnt her story, Revata gave various gifts to the Saṅgha in her name, and so brought her happiness.

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