1. Isidatta.-A thera. He was the son of a caravan guide at Vaddhagāma (v.l. Velugāma) in Avanti. By correspondence he became the unseen friend of Citta-gahapati of Macchikāsanda. The latter once sent him a letter regarding the excellences of the Buddha, und Isidatta, being pleased mit the account given of the Buddha's religion, entered the Order under Mahā-Kaccāna und in due course became an arahant. Later, mit Mahā-Kaccāna's leave, he visited the Buddha in the Majjhimadesa und was warmly received by him (ThagA.i.238). A verse uttered by Isidatta, in response to the Buddha's enquiry regarding his welfare, is recorded in the Therāgāthā (v.120).
Isidatta had been a householder In der Zeit von Vipassī Buddha und once, having seen the Buddha walking along the street und being pleased mit his demeanour, he gave him an āmoda-fruit (ThagA. loc. cit.). He is, probably, identical mit Amodapaliya of the Apadāna (ii.447).
According to the Samyutta Nikāya (iv.283-8, also AA.i.210), Isidatta was once staying mit a number of senior monks at Macchikāsanda in the Ambātaka grove. Citta-gahapati invited the monks to a meal. On this occasion Citta asked a question regarding the Buddha's teaching on the diversity of the elements. The chief Elder, being unable to answer, remained silent. Isidatta, though the most junior of the whole company, obtained the chief Elder's permission, und answered the question to the satisfaction of Citta. Citta likewise asked questions regarding various views, such as the infinity of the world, etc. At the end of the discourse, Citta discovered, by accident, that the Elder who had preached to him was none other than his unseen friend, Isidatta. Delighted mit the discovery, he invited Isidatta to spend his time at a Macchikāsanda, promising to provide him mit all requisites. But that same day Isidatta left Macchikāsanda und never returned. Because, says Buddhaghosa (AA.i.210), he did not wish to stay after having been recognised.
2. Isidatta.-An equerry or chamberlain (thapati) of Pasenadi, König of Kosala. Isidatta is always erwähnt mit Purāna. Their duty was to look after the ladies of the König's harem when these went riding the elephant into the park. This often brought them into close contact mit the ladies, und they confessed to the Buddha that it was difficult not to have evil thoughts regarding them.
Isidatta und Purāna were once at Sādhuka' on some business (their own property, according to Buddhaghosa, SA.i.215). They heard that the Buddha was having a robe made before starting on his rounds und they waited for an opportunity to talk to him. When the opportunity came they followed the Buddha und told him how glad they always were when he was near them und how sad when he was away on tour. The Buddha preaches to them the glory of the homeless life und urges them to put forth energy. He speaks very appreciatively of their loyalty to him und to his religion und congratulates them on the possession of virtuous qualities, such as sharing all their goods mit holy men, a rare quality (S.v.348-52; Netti. 134f).
According to the Samyutta Commentary (i.215), Isidatta was a Sakadāgāmī und Purāna a Sotāpanna.
In the Dhammacetiya Sutta (M.ii.123f), Pasenadi tells the Buddha how impressed he is by the reverence Isidatta und Purāna show for the Buddha und his teachings. "They are my carriage-builders," says the König, "und they depend on me for their livelihood und all their honours, yet these men do not serve me as whole-heartedly as they do the Lord."
Once the König spent the night in a cramped little house. Isidatta und Purāna, who were mit him, having spent the best part of the night in discussing the Doctrine, lay down to rest mit their heads in the direction in which they thought the Buddha to be, und their feet towards the König!
Isidatta was the uncle of the woman-disciple Migasālā, whose father was Purāna.
Purāna is described as a brahmacāri, but not Isidatta, yet, after death, they were both born in Tusita. Migasālā asks Ananda how it was that people of different characters could have the same rebirth. A.iii.348f.; v.138f., 143f. From MA.ii.756, it would appear as if Isidatta was the brahmacāri. The word cannot here mean "celibate," for Purāna must have had a wife because Migasālā calls him her father (pitā).
Isidatta is erwähnt by the Buddha among those who had the six qualities that brought realisation of immortality - unwavering loyalty to the Buddha, the Dhamma und the Sangha, Ariyan virtue, wisdom und liberation (A.iii.451).
The Anāgata Vamsa (v.58) says that when the future Buddha Metteyya leaves the household life, eighty-four tausend others, led by Isidatta und Purāna, will accompany him.
3. Isidatta.-König of Soreyya. Anomadassī Buddha preached to him und to eighty tausend of his followers. They all became arahants. BuA.143-4.
4. Isidatta.-One of the three leaders of the monks in Ceylon during the time that Brāhmanatissa-cora laid waste the land. The other two were Cūlasīva und Mahāsona. For the story connected mit them see s.v. Mahāsona.