He was born in a Sākiyan family, and having left the world with his clansmen Anuruddha and Kimbila, he dwelt in the village of Bākalona. One day, having left his cell in order to drive away his drowsiness, he fell as he was stepping on to the terrace, and, urged thereby to further effort, he accomplished self mastery and won arahantship. Later, when he was living in the bliss of fruition, the Buddha came to congratulate him on his solitude. Thag.vss.271-4; ThagA.i.380f.; cf. M.iii.155; Vin.i.350, ii.182; DhA.i.56, 133; J.i.140, iii.489; Mil.107.
It is said (SA.ii.222; this sermon is referred to as the Kilesya Sutta) that, on this occasion, the Buddha, after his meal, preached to Bhagu for a whole day and a whole night. The next day Bhagu accompanied the Buddha on his alms round, and turned back when the Buddha proceeded to Pācīnavamsa-migadāya to see Anuruddha and the others.
In the time of Padumuttara Buddha, Bhagu, was a householder, and, after the Buddha's death, offered flowers to his relics. As a result he was born among the Nimmānaratī gods (ThagA.i.380).
He is probably identical with Jātipupphiya of the Apadāna (Ap.ii.405f).
A monk named Bhagu is mentioned (Vin.i.300) as staying with Jātipupphiya at the Kukkutārāma in Pātaliputta, but he is probably a different person.