1. Kevatta (v.l. Kevaddha).-A householder of Nālandā. Once when the Buddha was staying in the Pāvārika-ambavana at Nālandā, Kevatta visited him. The interview is recorded in the Kevatta Sutta. (D.i.211ff).
Buddhaghosa (DA.i.388) speaks of him as a young householder, distinguished and wealthy, belonging to the gahapati-mahā-sala-kula, with forty crores of wealth. He was possessed of very great piety, and it was his extreme devotion to the Buddha which led him to make the request contained in the Kevatta Sutta.
2. Kevatta.-Chaplain of Cūlani-Brahmadatta, king of Uttarapañcāla. He was wise and learned and clever in device; the king followed his counsel and conquered all the territories of India except that of King Videha in Mithilā (J.vi.391-5). When at last Brahmadatta laid siege to Mithilā, Kevatta was responsible for the details of the siege, but his plans were upset by Mahosadha, who, though his junior in age, was far wiser. At one stage of the struggle Kevatta suggested that a trial of intellect be arranged between him and Mahosadha, the result of the conquest to decide the victory of Brahmadatta or Videha. The challenge was accepted, but Mahosadha, by a ruse, made Kevatta appear as though paying obeisance to him and rubbed Kevatta's head in the dust, bruising it. After the return, in disgrace, of Brahmadatta to Uttarapañcāla, Kevatta meditated revenge through the instrumentality of Pañcāla-candī. Kevatta visited Mithilā with a proposal that Videha should go to Uttarapañcāla and marry Pañcālacandī. During this visit, Kevatta went to visit Mahosadha, but the latter, guessing that the whole thing was a plot to kill Videha, refused to see Kevatta and caused him to be ill-treated (J.vi.400-19). Kevatta was everywhere defeated in his schemes by Mahosadha. J.vi.424, 438, 461; for details see the Mahā Umagga Jātaka.
Kevatta is identified with Devadatta (J.vi.478). He is mentioned as having belonged to the Kosiyagotta and is addressed as Kosiya. J.vi.418, 419.