A very rich householder of Bhaddiya-
It is said (Vin.i.240 f; also PSA.509; DhA.iii.372 f; Vism.383; the accounts differ slightly ) that when he went to his granaries after his ceremonial bath, as he stood at the door, showers of grain would fall from heaven and fill the stores. His wife, Candapadumā, would cook one measure of rice and one curry and serve the food, ladle in hand. As long as there were people coming to receive the food, so long would the food cooked be un-
When the Buddha left Bhaddiya for Aṅguttarāpa, Meṇḍaka gave orders to his servants and followed the Buddha with abundant provisions of all sorts, entertaining the Buddha and his monks with luxurious food and fresh milk. At the end of the meal, Meṇḍaka provided the monks with ghee and butter for their journey. At first the monks were unwilling to accept the gifts, but the Buddha, at Meṇḍaka’s request, allowed them to do so (Viii.i.243 ﬀ).
Meṇḍaka was so called (“Ram”) because, behind his house, in a yard eight karīsa in extent, some golden rams pranced up and down, as big as elephants, horses or bulls, hoofing the earth, smiting each other back to back. Whenever Meṇḍaka needed food or garments or money, he would place balls of coloured thread in the mouths of the rams, and when he pulled these out, there would follow them all that he needed (PSA.504; BuA.24).
All this was because of good deeds done in the past by Meṇḍaka. In the time of Vipassī Buddha, he was a householder named Avaroja. He had an uncle of the same name, and when the latter proposed building a Gandhakuṭi for the Buddha, his nephew wished to help with it. However, the uncle refused his help. He therefore built an Elephant Hall (kuñjarasālā) opposite the Gandhakuṭi. In the middle of the hall was a jewelled pavilion with a seat for teaching, which contained a foot rest, all this supported by golden rams. At the festival of dedication, he gave alms for four mouths to sixty-
One day, when on his way to the palace, he met the chief priest (purohita), who told him that there would be a famine in three months. Profiting by this warning, the Treasurer exerted himself to collect all possible grain and store it in every available place. The famine came, and for many months the Treasurer and his retinue lived on the stored grain, but, in the end, the supplies were exhausted, and most of them, acting on his advice, went to the mountains in search of food. He, his wife, his son and daughter-
Meṇḍaka’s grandson was Uggaha (q.v.)