Home page Up (parent) Next (right) Previous (left) Abbreviations

Page last updated on 8 October, 2020

Association for Insight Meditation Home Page


1. See Revata Buddha

2. Revata.– A monk, the personal attendant of Siddhattha Buddha. Bu.xvii.18; J.i.40.

3. Revata (called Khadiravaniya).– An Arahant Thera. An eminent disciple of the Buddha, declared by him foremost among forest dwellers (araññakānaṃ) (A.i.24). He was the youngest brother of Sāriputta, and a marriage was arranged for him by his mother who was miserable at seeing her children desert her one after another to join the Order, and wished to keep the youngest at home. He was only seven years old, and, on the wedding day, the relations of both bride and bridegroom showered blessings on the couple and said to the bride: “May you live as long as your grandmother.” Revata asked to see the grandmother, and was shown a woman of one hundred and twenty, decrepit, and showing all the signs of advanced old age. Realising that his wife would probably share the same fate, he left the bridal procession on some pretext on the way home, and ran away to a place where some monks lived. Sāriputta, foreseeing this, had instructed the monks to ordain his brother without reference to his parents, and, when Revata revealed his identity, the monks at once admitted him into the Order.

When Sāriputta heard this, he wished to visit his brother, but was persuaded by the Buddha to wait. Revata, after waiting a long time for the visit from Sāriputta, obtained from his teachers a formula of meditation and himself set out to see the Buddha. On the way he stopped at a acacia forest (khadiravana) during the rainy season and there won Arahantship.

At the end of the rains the Buddha, accompanied by Sāriputta and Ānanda, with five hundred other monks, started out to visit Revata.

There were two routes leading to the acacia forest, of which the shorter was thirty leagues long, straight, but infested with evil spirits. This the Buddha chose because Sīvalī Thera was in the company of monks, and the Buddha knew that the deities of the forest would provide the monks with all they needed because of Sīvalī’s presence. When Revata knew that the Buddha was approaching, he created, by his magic power, splendid dwellings for him and his monks. The Buddha spent two months in the forest and then returned to the Pubbārāma in Sāvatthi. There he found that Visākhā had heard contradictory accounts of the dwelling erected by Revata for the monks who had accompanied the Buddha. He dispelled Visākhā’s doubts and spoke of Revata’s powers. DhA.ii.188 ff; it was on this occasion that the Buddha related the story of Sīvalī's past; see also DhA.iv.186 f.

One of the stanzas (No.212), of the Muṇi Sutta was also taught the monks, according to Buddhaghosa (SNA.i.261 f ), in connection with Revata. This was immediately after the Buddha’s talk to Visākhā, mentioned above. The story of Revata’s ordination is also given at AA.i.126 ff., with some variations in detail. The account given in ThagA.i.108 ff. is much shorter; no mention is made of the Buddha’s visit to the Khadiravana. Here it is said that, after winning Arahantship, Revata went to Sāvatthi to greet the Buddha and Sāriputta.

Some time after, Revata returned to his native village and brought away with him his three nephews, sons of his three sisters, Cālā, Upacālā, and Sīsūpacālā. Sāriputta heard of this and went to see Revata. Revata knowing that he was coming, exhorted his nephews to be particularly heedful, and Sāriputta expressed his pleasure at their behaviour. ThagA.i.110; his admonitory verse is given at Thag.vs.43; two verses uttered by Sāriputta in praise of Revata are given at Thag.vss.991‑2.

The ThagA.i.551 f mentions another incident that took place during Revata’s old age. He was in the habit of visiting the Buddha and Sāriputta from time to time after returning to his home in the Khadiravana. Once, during a visit to Sāvatthi, he stayed in a forest near the city. The police, on the track of some thieves, came upon him, and, finding him near the booty, which the thieves had dropped in their flight, arrested him and brought him before the king. When the king questioned him, the elder spoke a series of verses (Thag.646‑58; Mrs. Rhys Davids speaks of Revata as a teacher of the Jain doctrine of ahiṃsā, Gotama the Man, p.116), demonstrating the impossibility of his committing such an act, and also by way of teaching the king the Dhamma. It is said (ThagA.l.555) that at the conclusion of the stanzas he sat cross-legged in the sky until his body burnt itself out.

Revata loved solitude, and, on one occasion (DhA.iii.325 f), a lay disciple named Atula, hearing that he was in Sāvatthi, went with five hundred others to hear him teach. However, Revata said that he delighted in solitude and refused to address them, and Atula went away complaining.

Revata’s delight in solitude was sometimes misunderstood. For instance, Sammuñjanī Thera went about continually sweeping, and, seeing Revata sitting cross-legged, thought him an idler. Revata read his thoughts and admonished him.

In the time of Padumuttara Buddha, Revata was a boatman at Payāga on the Gaṅgā, and once took the Buddha and his thousand followers across the river in a boat decked with canopies, flowers, etc. On that occasion he heard the Buddha declare one of the monks highest among forest dwellers, and wished for a similar honour for himself under a future Buddha (ThagA.i.108; A.A.i.126). Later, he was born in deva worlds. Fifty-eight world-cycles ago he was a king named Tārana, and a world-cycle later another king named Campaka. Ap.i.51 f.

4. Revata.– The DhpA.iv.176 f mentions a novice Revata, with three others — Saṅkicca, Paṇḍita, and Sopāka — all four of whom became Arahants at the age of seven. The Revata referred to is, very probably, the Revata (3) above. For their story see Pañcacchiddageha.

5. Revata.– See Kaṅkhā-Revata Thera.

6. Revata.– Called Soreyya Revata. He was one of the Elders who took a prominent part in the Second Council.

He lived in Soreyya, and, on discovering (by means of his divine ear) that the orthodox monks, led by Sambhūta Sānavāsi and Yasa Kākandakaputta, were anxious to consult him, Revata left Soreyya, and, travelling through Saṅkassa, Kaṇṇakujja, Udumbara and Aggalapura, reached Sahajāti. There the monks met him and consulted him regarding the “Ten Points.”

He enquired into these, and, after condemning them as wrong, decided to end the dispute. The Vajjiputtakā, too, had tried to win Revata over to their side, but on failing to do so, persuaded Revata’s pupil, Uttara, to accept robes, etc., from them, and speak to his teacher on their behalf. Uttara did this, but was dismissed by Revata as an unworthy pupil.

Revata suggested that the dispute should be settled in Vesāli, and the monks having agreed, he visited Sabbakāmī — who was the oldest monk then living and a pupil of Ānanda (according to Mhv.iv.57, 60, Revata, himself was a pupil of Ānanda and had seen the Buddha; cp. Dpv.iv.49) — during the night, and talked to him on matters of doctrine. During the conversation, Sānavāsi arrived and questioned Sabbakāmī regarding the Ten Points, but the latter refused to express an opinion in private. On Revata’s suggestion a jury of eight, four from either side, was appointed to go into the question. Revata himself was a member of this jury, and he it was who questioned Sabbakāmī during the meeting, held in Vālikārāma, regarding the Ten Points. All the Ten Points were declared to be wrong, and, at the end of the questions, seven hundred monks — chosen from one hundred and twelve thousand, at the head of whom was Revata — held a recital of the Dhamma, which recital therefore came to be called Sattasatī (Seven Hundred). This recital, according to the Mhv., lasted for eight months.

Vin.ii.299 ff. The Mhv.iv.1 ff gives an account of this Council, which account differs in numerous details. In both accounts it is Revata who takes the most prominent part in settling the dispute. The Mhv. introduces Kāḷāsoka as the patron of the Second Council; cp. Dpv.iv.46 ff; v.15 ff; Sp.i.33 f; it would appear from the Dpv. account that the heretics refused to accept the decision of Revata’s Council and separated off, to the number of ten thousand, forming a new body called the Mahāsaṅghikā.

7. Revata.– An elder of Sri Lanka. He was a Majjhimabhāṇaka, and, once, going to Revata (8) who lived in the Malaya country of Sri Lanka, he asked him for a subject of meditation. The latter knowing that the former was a Majjhimabhāṇake spoke to him of the difficulties facing such a one in meditation. The other at once agreed not to recite the Majjhimanikāya until his meditations should prove fruitful. He was given a topic of meditation, and attained Arahantship nineteen years later. However, when, at the end of that time, he again started to recite the Majjhimanikāya, he was never in doubt as to a single consonant. Vism.i.95.

8. Revata.– An elder of Sri Lanka, living in the Malaya country of Sri Lanka. See Revata (7).

9. Revata.– Teacher of Buddhaghosa. He was very proficient in the Vedas, and, when Buddhaghosa visited him in his vihāra and recited the Vedas, he was able to speak with contempt of Buddhaghosa’s knowledge. Buddhaghosa then became his pupil, and was later sent by him to Sri Lanka to translate the Singhalese Commentaries into Pāḷi. Cv.xxxvii.218 ff.

10. Revata.– See Mahāyasa. P.L.C.180, 199, 221.