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1. Nanda Thera.– Son of Suddhodana and Mahāpajāpatī, and therefore half brother of the Buddha. He was only a few days younger than the Bodhisatta, and when the Bodhisatta’s mother died, Pajāpatī gave her own child to nurses and suckled the Buddha herself (AA.i.186).

On the third day of the Buddha’s visit to Kapilavatthu, after the Enlightenment, the Buddha went to Nanda’s house, where festivities were in progress in honour of Nanda’s coronation and marriage to Janapadakalyāṇī Nandā. The Buddha wished Nanda good fortune and handed him his bowl to be taken to the vihāra. Nanda, thereupon, accompanied the Buddha out of the palace. Janapadakalyāṇī, seeing him go, asked him to return quickly. Once inside the vihāra, however, the Buddha asked Nanda to become a monk, and he, unable to refuse the request, agreed with reluctance. However, as the days passed he was tormented with thoughts of his beloved, and became very downcast and despondent, and his health suffered. The Buddha suggested that they should visit the Himavā. On the way there, he showed Nanda the charred remains of a female monkey and asked him whether Janapadakalyāṇī were more beautiful than that. The answer was in the affirmative. The Buddha then took him to Tāvatiṃsa where Sakka, with his most beautiful nymphs, waited on them. In answer to a question by the Buddha, Nanda admitted that these nymphs were far more attractive than Janapadakalyāṇī, and the Buddha promised him one as wife if he would live the monastic life. Nanda was all eagerness and readily agreed. On their return to Jetavana the Buddha related this story to the eighty chief disciples, and when they questioned Nanda, he felt greatly ashamed of his lustfulness. Summoning all his courage, he strove hard and, in no long time, attained Arahantship. He thereupon came to the Buddha and absolved him from his promise. (Thag.157 f; J.i.91; ii.92 ff; Ud.iii.2; DhA.i.96‑105; UdA.168 ff; SNA.273 f )

When the Buddha was told of Nanda’s Arahantship by a devata, he related the Saṅgāmāvacara Jātaka (q.v.) to show how, in the past, too, Nanda had been quick to follow advice. He also related the story of Kappata (q.v.) and his donkey to show that it was not the first time that Nanda had been won to obedience by the lure of the female sex. The male donkey in the story was Nanda and the female donkey Janapadakalyāṇī. (DhA.i.103 f )

Nanda is identified with the sub king (uparājā) in the Kurudhamma Jātaka (q.v.)

Later, on seeing how eminently Nanda was trained in self control, the Buddha declared him chief among his disciples in that respect (indriyesu guttadvārānaṃ). Nanda had aspired to this eminence in the time of Padumuttara Buddha. In the time of Atthadassī Buddha he was a turtle in the river Vinatā, and, seeing the Buddha on the bank waiting to cross, he took him over to the other side on his back. (A.i.25; AA.i.174 f; ThagA.i.276 ff.)

He is said to have been called Nanda because his birth brought joy to his kinsmen. The Apadāna (i.57) says he was of golden hue, as reward for a gift of a costly robe given by him to Padumuttara. One hundred thousand world-cycles ago he became king four times under the name of Cela. Sixty thousand world-cycles ago he was again king in four births, under the name of Upacela. Later, five thousand world-cycles ago, he was four times Cakkavatti, and his name then, too, was Cela.

Nanda was very handsome, and was only four inches shorter than the Buddha. He once wore a robe made according to the dimensions of the Buddha’s robe. Discovering this, the Buddha chided him for his presumption. (Vin.iv.173; perhaps this is another version of the story found at S.ii.281. There, Nanda is said to have donned a robe that was pressed on both sides, painted his face, and gone to see the Buddha, carrying a bright bowl. The Buddha chided him, and Nanda thereupon became a forest-dweller and a rag-robe-wearer. Buddhaghosa (SA.ii.174) says that Nanda dressed himself up in order to evoke some comment from the Buddha — either approval, so that he might dress thus for the remainder of his life, or censure, in which case he would put on rag-robes and dwell in the forest.)

The Aṅguttaranikāya (A.iv.166 f) contains a discourse in which the Buddha discusses Nanda’s claim to have achieved self control in all things.

He is probably to be identified with Taraṇiya Thera of the Apadāna. (ii.428; cp. ThagA.i.277.)

2. Nanda.– Called Nanda māṇava. One of the chief disciples of Bāvarī; he visited the Buddha: His conversation with the Buddha is recorded in the Nanda-māṇava Pucchā. Later, he became an Arahant. SN.vs.1007, 1124.

3. Nanda.– Called Nanda-Gopālaka. He was a cowherd of Kosambī. One day he heard the Buddha teach the monks, using as simile a log of wood how, in certain circumstances, it finds its way direct to the sea and how, similarly, a monk may reach nibbāna. Nanda asked permission to join the Order. However, the Buddha insisted that he should first return the cattle, for which he was responsible, to their owners. Nanda did so, and was then ordained, becoming an Arahant soon after. S.iv.181.

4. Nanda Thera.– An Arahant. In the past he was once a hunter, and, while wandering in the forest, he saw a Pacceka Buddha named Anuruddha. He built for the Buddha a hut thatched with lotus flowers, and, having listened to the Buddha’s teaching, became a monk. Soon after he fell ill, died, and was born in Tusita. He possessed the power of travelling through the air and of walking over the sea. In this birth he visited the Buddha and questioned him regarding the “further shore.” At the end of the conversation he became an Arahant. Ap.ii.350 f.

He is probably identical with No.3 above. See DA.i.122, where Nanda Gopalaka’s questions are given; these seem to correspond with Nanda Thera’s questions about the “further shore.”

5. Nanda.– A herdsman of Anāthapiṇḍika, living in Sāvatthi. He was rich and tended the king’s cattle as well. He often, went to Anāthapiṇḍika’s house with gifts, and there he saw and heard the Buddha. He invited the Buddha to his house, but his invitation was not accepted for some time, until his wisdom should be ripe. However, at last the Buddha paid him a visit, lasting seven days, and Nanda entertained him and his monks with the choicest foods. On the seventh day the Buddha taught him and he became a Stream-winner. He accompanied the Buddha part of the way back to the vihāra, but, on his return journey, was killed by a hunter’s arrow. DhA.i.322 f.

6. Nanda māṇava.– A former incarnation of Subhūti Thera (q.v.) in the time of Padumuttara Buddha. He was a mahāsala Brahmin of Haṃsavatī, and later became an ascetic at the head of forty-four thousand Jatilas. After thirty thousand years, Padumuttara visited him in the forest, and, later, ten thousand of his followers joined the Buddha. Nanda provided them all with seats made of heavenly flowers, the Buddha’s being one league in height. Nanda stood by the Buddha for seven days, holding an umbrella made of flowers. Nanda and the rest of his disciples joined the Order, and all except Nanda became Arahants, he being bore in the Brahma world after death. Later, for five hundred births he was a forest dweller living alone on Mount Nisabha in Himavā. He was king of the devas for eighty births. (Ap.i.67; ThagA.i.17 f; AA.i.124 f ) He evidently belonged to the Kosiya clan (gotta) (Ap.i.67.)

7. Nanda.– A disciple of a Pacceka Buddha named Sabbābhibhū. The Bodhisatta was then a drunkard, named Munāli, and abused Nanda. It was a result of this that Ciñcā slandered the Buddha (Gotama). Ap.i.299; UdA.264.

8. Nanda.– A devaputta who visited the Buddha and had a conversation with him. S.i.62.

9. Nanda.– One of the three palaces occupied by Vipassī Buddha in his last lay life. Bu.xx.24.

10. Nanda.– One of the chief lay supporters of Sikhī Buddha. v.l Canda. BuA.204.

11. Nanda.– King of Bārāṇasī, a former birth of Mahā-Kassapa. He belonged to a poor family, but, owing to his merit in having covered Kassapa Buddha’s cetiya with a golden coverlet, he came to be crowned king of Bārāṇasī. He had a wish-fulfilling tree (kapparukkha), which provided him and his subjects with divine robes. With the help of his queen — who became Bhaddakapilā in this life — he held a great almsgiving to five hundred Pacceka Buddhas, led by Mahāpaduma, and entertained them up to the time of their death. Nanda was away, quelling a frontier rebellion, at the time of their death. On his return, he gave over his kingdom to his eldest son and became an ascetic. Ap.ii.582; ThagA.ii.139 ff; SA.ii.140 f; the story is also found at PVA.73 ff; there it is said that Nanda was granted divine clothes because he had once given his shawl to a Pacceka Buddha for a robe; see also ThigA.72.

Nanda’s wealth was proverbial. e.g., Pv.ii.1 (vs. 16), iii.2 (vs.16).

12. Nanda.– One of the chief lay supporters of Maṅgala Buddha. Bu.xxii. 25.

13. Nanda.– See Nanda Vaccha

14. Nanda.– A slave, born in this life as the co-resident of Sāriputta. For his story see the Nanda Jataka.

15. Nanda.– A brahmin of Takkasilā, learned in the Vedas, who supported his parents. He related four verses to Jayaddisa, seated on a throne, and earned four thousand pieces of money. For details see the Jayaddisa Jataka. J.v.23 ff.

This is evidently the same story as that related in the Mahā Sutasoma Jataka (J.v.476 f.,483). There Nanda is said to have learnt the stanzas from Kassapa Buddha, and to have come expressly to Indapatta in order to teach them to Sutasoma. Nanda is identified with Ānanda. (Ibid. 511. For details see the Mahā Sutasoma Jātaka.

16. Nanda.– Called Nandakumāra. A Brahmin ascetic, brother of the Bodhisatta in his birth as Soṇa. Nanda is identified with Ānanda. For details see Soṇa Nanda Jataka. J.v.312 ff.

17. Nanda.– Called Nandamāṇavaka. A Brahmin, mentioned in the Milindapañha [p.101. This probably refers to the Brahmin who raped Uppalavaṇṇā (DhA.ii.49, this is confirmed by MA.ii.814, where Uppalavaṇṇā’s rapist is called Nandamāṇavaka) as having been swallowed up by the earth for having insulted the Buddha and his disciples.

One day when Upalavaṇṇā returned from her alms-rounds to her hut in Andhavana, where she was living at the time, Nandamāṇava, who was hiding under her bed, jumped up and seized her. In spite of her protestations and admonitions, he overcame her resistance by force and, having worked his will of her, went away. As if unable to endure his wickedness, the earth burst asunder and he was swallowed up in Avīci (DhA.ii.49‑50).

In order that such assaults should not be repeated, Pasenadi Kosala erected, at the Buddha’s suggestion, a residence for the nuns within the city gates, and henceforth they lived only within the precincts of the city (DhA.ii.51 f).

18. Nanda.– See Nandopānanda.

19. Nanda Kumāputta Thera.– He was born in Veḷukaṇḍa in Avanti and his mother was Kumā. Having heard Sāriputta teach, he entered the Order, visiting the Buddha later. From the Buddha he obtained a formula of meditation and became an Arahant. (Thag.vs.36; ThagA.i.100) He had a friend named Sudanta (also called Vāsula) who, too, became an Arahant (Ibid.101). In the time of Vipassi Buddha, Nanda was an ascetic, and, having seen the Buddha in the royal park at Bandhumati, gave him oil to massage his feet. He is probably to be identified with Abbhañjanadāyaka of the Apadāna. Ap.ii.456.

20. Nanda.– Nine kings, called the Nava Nandā, reigned in India after the dynasty of Kālāsoka and his sons. (Mhv.v.15) The first of the Nava-Nandā was a bandit who captured the throne. Their names are given in the Mahābodhivaṃsa (p.98; for details see MT.177‑9) as follows: Uggasena Nanda, Paṇḍuka Nanda, Paṇḍugati Nanda, Bhūtapāla Nanda, Raṭṭhapāla Nanda, Govisānaka-Nanda, Dasasiddhaka Nanda, Kevaṭṭa Nanda and Dhana Nanda. The last was killed by Candagutta with the help of Cānakka, and his throne was seized. The nine Nandas together reigned for twenty-two years.

21. Nanda.– There were once two butchers named Nanda. One day they killed a cow, and the younger asked that he might take the head and the tail as he had many children. The elder refused and was killed by the other. However, the murderer had no peace of mind thereafter, and, on his death, was born in hell. ItvA.82; also AA.i.295; but here the names are not mentioned.

22. Nanda.– A distinguished monk in the time of Parakkamabāhu I. He lived in the Selantara monastery, and was appointed Head of the three fraternities in Rohaṇa. Cv.lxxviii.10.

23. Nanda.– A butcher who killed cattle for fifty years. One day, having no meat, he cut off the tongue of a living ox, fried it and started eating it. His own tongue fell on to his plate. He died in great agony and was born in hell. MA.ii.814.

24. Nanda.– The Isigili Sutta mentions four Pacceka Buddhas of this name. M.iii.70.

25. Nanda.– See Nandaka.