Nakulapitā.– A man and his wife (Nakulamātā), householders of Suṃsumāragiri in the Bhaggā country. When the Buddha visited the village and stayed at Bhesakalāvana, they went to see him. They immediately fell at his feet, calling him “son” and asking why he had been so long away. It is said that they had been the Bodhisatta’s parents for five hundred births and his near relations for many more. The Buddha taught them and they became Stream-
Once, when Nakulapitā lay grievously ill, his wife noticed that he was fretful with anxiety. She assured him there was no need for anxiety on his part, either on behalf of her or his children. She spoke with such conviction that Nakulapitā regained his composure of mind and recovered his health. Later he visited the Buddha and told him of this, and was congratulated by the Buddha on having such an excellent wife. (A.iii.295 ﬀ)
The Saṃyuttanikāya (S.iii.1, S.iv.116; A.iv.268) contains records of conversations between Nakulapitā and the Buddha. Both husband and wife are mentioned in lists of eminent disciples. (A.iii.465; A.iv.348).
It is said that Nakulapitā’s desire for eminence was first conceived in the time of Padumuttara Buddha. He was then a householder of Haṃsavatī, and was present at an assembly where the Buddha declared someone to be chief of those living in harmony (vissāsika). A.I.216.