1. Cunda.– A worker in metals (kammāraputta) living in Pāvā. When the Buddha reached Pāvā on his way to Kusinārā, he stayed in Cunda’s Mango grove. There Cunda visited him and invited him and the monks to a meal the next day. The meal consisted of sweet rice and cakes and tender pork¹ (sūkaramaddava). At the meal the Buddha ordered that he alone should be served with sūkaramaddava, and that what was left over should be buried in a hole. This was the Buddha’s last meal, as very soon after it he developed dysentery (D.ii.126; Ud.viii.5). The Buddha, a little while before his death, gave special instructions to Ānanda that he should visit Cunda and reassure him by telling him that no blame at all attached to him and that he should feel no remorse, but should, on the contrary, rejoice, in that he had been able to give to the Buddha a meal which, in merit, far exceeded any other (D.ii.135 f).
The Suttanipāta Commentary (SNA.i.159) mentions that, at this meal, Cunda provided golden vessels for the monks’ use; some made use of them, others did not. One monk stole a vessel and put it in his bag. Cunda noticed this but said nothing. Later, in the afternoon, he visited the Buddha and questioned him as to the different kinds of recluses (samaṇa) there were in the world. The Buddha taught him the Cunda Sutta.
The Commentary adds (p.166; also UdA.399) that Cunda reached no attainment, but merely had his doubts dispelled. The Dīghanikāya Commentary, however, says (DA.ii.568) that he became a Stream-
The Aṅguttaranikāya (v.263 ﬀ) mentions another conversation between the Buddha and Cunda. Cunda tells the Buddha that he approves of the methods of purification (soceyyāni) laid down by the brahmins of the west (Pacchābhūmakā). The Buddha tells him of the teaching of the Noble Ones regarding the threefold defilement and purification of the body, the fourfold defilement and purification of the speech, and the threefold defilement and purification of the mind. Cunda accepts the Buddha’s explanations and declares himself his follower.
¹ There are various opinions on the translation of the term sūkaramaddava, which is perhaps why Malalasekera didn’t translate it. (ed.)
2. Cunda.– The books appear to refer to two elders by the name of Cunda, the better known being Mahā-
Mention is also made of a Cunda-
In the time of Vipassī Buddha he had been a potter and had given to the Buddha a bowl made of clay. The Apadāna verses quoted in the Theragāthā Commentary are, in the Apadāna itself (Ap.ii.444), ascribed to a monk named Ekapattadāyaka. They make no mention whatever of his relationship to Sāriputta. On the other hand, there are to be found elsewhere in the Apadāna (Ap.i.101 f) certain verses ascribed to a Cunda Thera, which definitely state that he was the son of the brahmin Vaṅganta, and that his mother was Sārī. However, in these verses he is called Cūḷa-
(Buddhaghosa says that the monks called him Samanuddesa in his youth before his higher ordination (upasampadā), and he never lost the name, DA.iii.907).
Cunda Samaṇuddesa was, for some time, the personal attendant of the Buddha (ThagA.ii.124; J.iv.95, etc.), and when the Buddha prepared to perform the Twin Miracle, offered to perform a miracle himself and so save the Buddha trouble and exertion (DhA.iii.211). Cunda’s teacher was Ānanda, and it was to Ānanda that he first brought the news of Sāriputta’s death. (SA.iii.178; see also the Pāsādika Sutta and the Sāmagāma Sutta, where Cunda brings to Ānanda and then to the Buddha the news of Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta’s death; see also the Sallekha Sutta).
The Piṭakas contain several discourses (A.iii.355; v.41, 157) given to the monks by Mahā-
Cunda is mentioned (S.iv.50 f; M.iii.263 f ) as having accompanied Sāriputta when he went to see Channa at the Kalandakanivāpa in Rājagaha, just before Channa’s suicide. Once, when the Buddha lay ill in the Kalaṇḍakanivāpa, Cunda visited him and recited the bhojjaṅga paritta. There and then the Buddha’s sickness vanished. S.v.81.