An arahant. He was proclaimed the first among those who received food tickets (salāka) (A.i.24). He came of a brahmin family of Sāvatthi and his name was Dhāna. He knew the Vedas by heart, and when advanced in years, heard the Buddha preach and joined the Order. From that day, however, in all his movements the form of a young woman followed him wherever he went, though he himself could not see the figure. This caused great merriment and evoked many sarcastic remarks, which he could not understand. When he went for alms women would put into his bowl two portions of food, saying, "One is for your Reverence and the other for your friend, the young lady, your companion." In the monastery the novices and young monks would point at him and say: "Look, our venerable one has become a konda" (gallant?). From this he became known as Konda- or Kundadhāna. Driven to distraction by this teasing, he became abusive and was reported to the Buddha, who hade him be patient as he was only being pursued by the remnant of an evil kamma. Pasenadi, king of Kosala, hearing of Kundadhāna, was interested, and being satisfied by personal investigation that the Elder was blameless, provided him with all necessaries, so that he need no longer go round for alms. This enabled him to concentrate his mind, and he became an arahant. Thereupon the figure of the woman disappeared.
Kundadhāna's claim to be the first among receivers of salāka was due to the fact that he it was who received the first food-ticket when the Buddha visited
Only khīnāsavas were allowed to accompany the Buddha on these visits.
Kundadhāna's determination to attain this special eminence was formed in the time of Padumuttara Buddha. Once he gave Padumuttara a well-ripened "comb" of bananas when the Buddha arose from a long trance. As a result he became king of the devas eleven times and king of men twenty-four times.
He was an earthbound sprite in the time of Kassapa Buddha. Seeing two monks, firm friends, on their way to the uposatha held by the Buddha, he had a mischievous desire to test their friendship, and when one of the monks retired into the forest leaving the other on the road, he followed the former, unseen by him, assuming the form of a woman arranging her hair, adjusting her garments, and so on. The second monk, seeing his friend return and shocked by his apparent misdemeanour, left him in disgust, refusing to perform the uposatha with him. Realising the effect of his practical joke, the sprite did all he could to make amends, but the friendship of the two monks was for ever spoilt. The sprite suffered the fears of hell for a whole Buddha-era, and even in his last birth as Kundadhāna his evil kamma pursued him, as seen above. AA.i.146ff; Thag.A.i.62ff; also Ap.i.81f; Thag.15. The version given in Dh A.iii.52f differs very slightly in certain details.
Kundadhāna was among those to whom the Buddha preached the Nalakapāna Sutta, and was therefore probably a friend of Anuruddha and the other Sākiyan nobles present on that occasion (M.i.462). v.l. Konda-dhāna, Konthadhāna, Kuddadhāna.