A lady of Velukanta (Velukanda). She is mentioned as an exemplary lay woman (A.i.88; ii.164). She founded, for the Order headed by Sāriputta and Moggallāna an offering which the Buddha praised, because it was endowed with the six requisite qualities. See Dāna Sutta (1).
Once she rose before dawn and sang the Parāyana. Vessavana happened to be passing over her house on his way from north to south (to see the Buddha, says SNA.i.369), and hearing the song, stopped at her window to praise it and to reveal his identity. She greeted him cordially, and in return for her greeting he announced to her that Sāriputta and Moggallāna were on their way to Velukanta. She, delighted with the news, made all preparations and sent word to the monastery, inviting the monks to the house. After the meal, she informed the Elders that Vessavana had told her of their arrival. When they expressed their amazement, she told them of several other virtues possessed by her. Her only son Nanda was seized by the king's men and killed before her eyes, but she experienced no disquiet, nor did she when her husband, after his death, having been born as a Yakkha (Bhummadevatā says the Commentary), revealed himself to her. She was guilty of no transgression of the precepts, could enter into the four jhānas at will, and had cast off the five lower fetters. The monks expressed their great admiration and Sāriputta preached to her (A.iv.63ff).
Buddhaghosa says (AA.ii.718; cf. SNA.i.370) that she was an anāgāmī, and that, when she promised to share with Vessavana the merits she would gain by entertaining the monks, headed by the two Chief Disciples, Vessavana, to show his gratitude, filled her stores with rice, and these stores remained always full throughout her life. They thus became proverbial.
The Sutta Nipāta Commentary (SNA.i.370) states that she kept a daily fast and knew the Pitakas by heart. It also says that, at the end of her recital of the Parāyana, Vessavana offered her a boon, and she asked that, as her servants were weary of carrying the harvest home from the fields, Vessavana should allow his Yakkhas to do the work for them. To this he agreed, and his followers filled for her one thousand two hundred and fifty store houses. Vessavana then went to the Buddha and told him of what had happened.
The Dhammapada Commentary (DhA.i.340) mentions Velukantakī Nandamātā and Khujjattarā as the chief lay women disciples of the Buddha. But in the Anguttara list of eminent lay women, while Velukantakī Nandamātā's name does not occur, Khujjatarā is mentioned. Mention is made of a Nandamātā, eminent in meditation, but she is called Uttarā.
A.i.26; cf. S.ii.236, where the same two are mentioned; Mrs. Rhys Davids thinks that Velukantakī Nandamātā is probably identical with Uttarā Nandamātā (Brethren 4, n.1). This identification does not seem to be correct.
See Uttarā Nandamātā; see also Nanda-Kumāputta.