One of the five bankers (setthi) of limitless wealth in Bimbisāra's kingdom, the others being Jotiya, Jatila, Mendaka, and Punnaka (DhA.i.385; AA.i.220).
He was once very poor, and Mahā-Kassapa, having spent seven days in samādhi, stood at his door, wishing to do him a favour. Kākavaliya's wife saw the Elder and poured into his bowl the saltless sour gruel she had cooked for her husband. The Elder took it and put it into the hands of the Buddha, who resolved that it should suffice for the large assembly of monks. On the seventh day after that, Kākavaliya was appointed setthi (Vsm.ii.403).
He is quoted as an example of one who was able to give gifts which bore fruit in this very existence, because his gift contained the four purities:
DhsA.161f; see also AA.i.48, 364.