Son of a Malla chief in Pāvā. He went to Kapilavatthu with his friends, Subāhu, Valliya and Uttiya, and there he saw the Twin Miracle and joined the Order, later attaining arahantship. (But see below.) At Rājagaha, Bimbisāra built a hut for him but forgot the roof. The gods prevented rain from falling till this error was rectified. Godhika and his friends had been companions in good deeds in the past, especially in the time of Siddhattha Buddha and of Kassapa Buddha. Eighty-seven kappas ago Godhika was seven times king, under the name of Mahāsena (Thag.vs.51; ThagA.i.123f; Ap.i.140).
According to the Samyutta (S.i.120f; SA.i.144f; also DhA.i.431f ) account, Godhika lived on the Kālasilā in Isigilipassa. There he made various vain attempts to win arahantship (the DhA.i.431f adds that he suffered from a disease brought about by hard work), achieving only temporary emancipation of mind, from which he then fell away. Six times this happened and then he decided to commit suicide by cutting his throat. Māra saw this and reported it to the Buddha, but when the Buddha arrived it was too late and Godhika lay "supine on his couch with his shoulders twisted around." The Buddha, however, declared that Godhika had attained Nibbāna. The Commentary states that, after cutting his throat, Godhika so checked his final agony that he won arahantship.