A headman (gāmaṇi). He came to the Buddha in the Pārileyyaka Mango Grove in Nāḷandā and asked him various questions, recorded in the Saṃyuttanikāya (iv.312 ﬀ). One of these, the Asibandhakaputta Sutta, is related to the custom among the Pacchābhumaka (Westlander) brahmins (where, perhaps, he himself belonged) of lifting a man up when dead and carrying him out, calling him by name to speed him heavenward. Surely the Buddha who is an Arahant, etc., could make the whole world go to heaven thus if he chose. To this the Buddha answers no, and explains, by various similes, that only a man’s kamma can determine where he will be reborn. On another occasion, the Buddha tells him, in answer to a question, that the Buddha teaches the Dhamma in full only to certain disciples and not to others; just as a farmer sowing seed selects, first the best field, then the moderate, and lastly, the field with the worst soil.
Asibandhakaputta tells the Buddha that, according to Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta (he is described as a follower of the Nigaṇṭhā, S.iv.317), as a man habitually lives so goes he forth to his destiny. The Buddha points out the absurdity of this view and tells him that all Tathāgatas lay down definite rules for the guidance of their followers, so that they may attain development.
It is recorded (S.iv.322 ﬀ) that once, when Nāḷandā was stricken with famine, Asibandhaka visited Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta, who asks him to go and defeat the Buddha in debate. Asibandhaka is at first reluctant, but his teacher propounds to him a dilemma to put to the Buddha, and he agrees to go.
Is it true that the Buddha extols compassion to clansmen? Why, then, does the Buddha ask for alms in a place stricken with famine? The Buddha’s answer is that there are eight ways of harming clansmen, and that begging for alms is not one of them. Asibandhakaputta, pleased with the answer, declares himself to be a follower of the Buddha.
Asibandhakaputta’s conversation with the Buddha, in which the Buddha tells him that only a man’s kamma can determine the state of his rebirth, is quoted in the Nettippakaraṇa (pp.45‑47).