An elder. He was born in a brahmin family of Kosala, and having heard a forest dwelling monk teach, entered the Order. One day, when on his way to visit the Buddha, he saw a fight between snakes and mongooses, in which many of them perished. Distressed by the sight of their hatred for each other, he sought the help of the Buddha, who taught him three stanzas (Thag.237‑9). At the end of the recitation, Vāraṇa developed insight and became an Arahant.
Ninety-two world-cycles ago he was born in the family of the brahmin Sumedha, and becoming expert in brahmin lore, he entered the ascetic life. As he sat teaching hymns to his pupils there was an earthquake, marking the conception of Tissa Buddha. People, in terror, sought the sage, who explained it to them, thereby himself experiencing great joy in contemplating the glory of the Buddha (ThagA.i.353 f).
He is evidently identical with Nimittabyākaraṇiya Thera of the Apadāna. Ap.ii.411 f.