The Bodhisatta was once a gardener in Benares, and because his only possession was a spade (kuddāla) he was known as Kuddāla Pandita. Later he became a recluse, but six times thoughts of his spade drew him back to the world. The seventh time he threw the spade into the river and shouted for joy, winning insight. The king of Benares heard his shouts, and on knowing the reason for them, resolved to join Kuddāla as an anchorite. When the news spread, the people from twelve leagues round accompanied them, and Sakka sent Vissakamma to erect monasteries for them in the Himālaya.
The story was told in reference to Citta-Hatthisāriputta (q.v.) (J.i.311ff). The names of some of those who accompanied Kuddāla in his renunciation are mentioned at the end of the Hatthipāla (J.iv.490) and the Mūgapakkha Jātaka. J.vi.30.
The same story is given in different words in the Dammapada Commentary (DhA.i.311f).