1. Dāsaka Thera.-He was born in Sāvatthi and was appointed by Anāthapindika to look after the vihāra. There, being impressed by what he saw and heard, he entered the Order. Some say that he was the son of a slave-woman of Anāthapindika. The setthi was pleased with him and freed him that he might become a monk. It is said that in a previous birth he had ordered an arahant to do some work for him, hence his birth as a slave. From the time he was ordained he became slothful and fond of sleep. The Buddha admonished him, and, much agitated, he put forth effort and realised arahantship.
Ninety-one kappas ago he met the Pacceka Buddha Ajita and gave him some beautiful mangoes to eat. Later, in the time of Kassapa Buddha, he was a monk (Thag.17; ThagA.i.68ff).
Perhaps it is this same Dāsaka who is mentioned in the Samyutta Nikāya (S.iii.127ff; SA.ii.230) as having been sent by the monks of Kosambī to Khemaka, carrying messages to and fro till he had walked up and down over two yojanas.
2. Dāsaka Thera.-Friend of Sonaka and pupil of Upāli. He was a learned brahmin of Vesāli, and, meeting Upāli at the Vālikārāma, had a discussion with him, at the end of which he entered the Order for the purpose of studying the Doctrine. He learnt the whole of the Tipitaka and became an arahant. Later he ordained Sonaka, son of the caravan-guide, and teacher of Siggava and Candavajji. After Upāli's death, Dāsaka became chief of the teachers of the Vinaya. Mhv.v.104ff; Dpv.iv.28ff; v.77ff; Vin.v.2; Sp.i.32, 235; but see Dvy.3ff.