v.l. Lakuṇṭaka.– He was born in a wealthy family of Sāvatthi and was given the title of Lakuṇḍaka (dwarf) owing to his very small stature. He was, nevertheless, beautiful in body, says the ApA; but see below.
Having heard the Buddha teach, he entered the Order and became learned and eloquent, teaching others in a sweet voice. Once, on a festival day, a woman of the town, driving with a brahmin in a chariot, saw the elder and laughed, showing her teeth. The elder, taking the teeth as his object, developed absorption (jhāna) and became a Non-
In the time of Padumuttara Buddha he was a very rich householder of Haṃsavatī, and, having beard the Buddha describe one of his monks as the sweetest voiced among them all, he wished for a similar distinction for himself under a future Buddha. In the time of Phussa Buddha he was a goose (cittapattakokila), named Nanda, (the Ap. loc. infra says he was the king’s general) who, seeing the Buddha in the royal park, placed in his bowl a ripe mango. In Kassapa Buddha’s day he was the chief architect entrusted with the building of the thūpa over the Buddha’s relics, and, when a dispute arose as to how big the thūpa should be, he decided in favour of a small one; hence his small stature in his last life. ThagA.i.469 ﬀ; Ap.ii.489 f; the account in AA.i.110 f. is slightly different; the Keḷisīla Jātaka (q.v.) gives a different reason for his shortness.
In the assembly of monks the Buddha ranked him as foremost among sweet-
It was in reference to Bhaddiya that the Buddha taught two famous riddle stanzas in the Dhammapada (vv 294, 295; for the explanation of the riddle see DhA.iii.454), where he describes the Arahant as one who has killed father and mother and two kings and destroyed a kingdom, but who yet goes ungrieving — the words having a metaphorical meaning.
In the Avadānaśataka he is called Lakuñcika. See Avs.ii.152‑60.