He belonged to a family of flower scavengers in Rājagaha and eked out a miserable existence as road sweeper. One day the Buddha saw that Sunīta was destined for Arahantship and visited him at dawn, as he was sweeping the street and collecting the scraps in his basket. Seeing the Buddha, he was filled with awe, and, finding no place to stand, stood stiffly against a wall. The Buddha approached him and asked if he would like to be a monk. He expressed great joy, and the Buddha ordained him with the “come bhikkhu” going-
In the past he had spoken disparagingly of a Pacceka Buddha. Thag.vss.620‑31; ThagA.i.540 f.