1. Godatta Thera.– He belonged to a family of caravan-
The Theragāthā (vs.659‑72) contains several stanzas attributed to him, wherein he discoursed to “Ariyan” groups, both lay and religious, on worldly truths (lokadhammā), illustrating his meaning with a wealth of similes. He is probably the Godatta of the Godatta Sutta.
2. Godatta Thera v.l. Godha, Godhaka, Goda, Gotta, Godanta.– His full name was Abhidhammika Godatta, showing that he was considered expert in Abhidhamma. He was evidently a well-
The Samantapāsādikā (ii.307, also 478; iii.588), however, relates a story showing that the elder was recognised as an authority on the Vinaya. A monk of Antarasamudda made a drinking bowl out of a coconut shell and, leaving it in the monastery, went to Cetiyagiri. Another monk, fancying the bowl, stole it and also went to Cetiyagiri, where he met the owner and was charged with theft. Unable to settle the dispute where they were, they went to the Mahāvihāra. There, by beating of drums, the monks were assembled near the Mahācetiya, and convicted the accused of theft, holding him guilty of an offence of defeat (pārājika).
Godatta, being interviewed, pointed out that the value of the bowl was only a penny or two and that the Buddha had nowhere laid down that the theft of such an insignificant object could be held an offence of defeat. His decision was greeted with applause, and when the report thereof reached the reigning king, Bhātikābhaya, he decreed that, henceforth, in all their disputes, his subjects should abide by the decision of Godatta.
3. Godatta Thera.– An incumbent of Kalyāṇi-