He belonged to a family of the Kaccānas in Magadha, and, having entered the Order, lived in a cave called Bheravā near the Himavā, engaged in meditation. One day there arose a great and unseasonable storm; the clouds massed up in the sky amid thunder and forked lightning. All creatures cried out in fear and trembling. However, Sambula, heedless of the noise and cooled by the storm, composed his mind, developed insight and became an Arahant. Then, filled with joy, he uttered a poem (Thag.vss.189‑90).
He is evidently identical with Tālaphaliya of the Apadāna. Ap.i.447.