1. Cunda.-A worker in metals (kammáraputta) living in Pává. When the Buddha reached Pává on his way to Kusinárá, he stayed in Cunda's Mango grove. There Cunda visited him and invited him and the monks to a meal the next day. The meal consisted of sweet rice and cakes and súkaramaddava. At the meal the Buddha ordered that he alone should be served with súkaramaddava, and that what was left over should be buried in a hole. This was the Buddha's last meal, as very soon after it he developed dysentery (D.ii.126; Ud.viii.5). The Buddha, a little while before his death, gave special instructions to Ananda that he should visit Cunda and reassure him by telling him that no blame at all attached to him and that he should feel no remorse, but should, on the contrary, rejoice, in that he had been able to give to the Buddha a meal which, in merit, far exceeded any other (D.ii.135f).
The Suttanipáta Commentary (SNA.i.159) mentions that, at this meal, Cunda provided golden vessels for the monks' use; some made use of them, others did not. One monk stole a vessel and put it in his bag. Cunda noticed this but said nothing. Later, in the afternoon, he visited the Buddha and questioned him as to the different kinds of samanas there were in the world. The Buddha preached to him the Cunda Sutta.
The Commentary adds (p.166; also UdA.399) that Cunda reached no attainment, but merely had his doubts dispelled. The Digha Commentary, however, says (DA.ii.568) that he became a Sotápanna at the first sight of the Buddha and built for him a vihára at the Ambavana. This latter incident, probably, took place at an earlier visit of the Buddha, for we are told (D.iii.207) that while the Buddha was staying in Cunda's Mango grove, he was invited by the Mallas to consecrate their new Mote-hall, Ubbhataka. He accepted the invitation, preached in the hall till late at night, and then requested Sáriputta to continue, which he did by preaching the Sangíti Sutta. This was soon after the death of Nigantha Nátaputta (D.iii.210).
The Anguttara Nikáya (v.263ff) mentions another conversation between the Buddha and Cunda. Cunda tells the Buddha that he approves of the methods of purification (soceyyáni) laid down by the brahmins of the west (Pacchábhúmaká). The Buddha tells him of the teaching of the Ariyans regarding the threefold defilement and purification of the body, the fourfold defilement and purification of the speech, and the threefold defilement and purification of the mind. Cunda accepts the Buddha's explanations and declares himself his follower.
2. Cunda.-The books appear to refer to two theras by the name of Cunda, the better known being Mahá-Cunda and the other Cúla-Cunda. But the legends connected with them are so confused that it is not possible to differentiate clearly one from the other.
Mention is also made of a Cunda-Samanuddesa whom, however, the Commentaries (E.g.. DA.iii.907) identify with Mahá-Cunda. Mahá-Cunda is, for instance, described in the Theragáthá Commentary (ThagA.i.261; see also DhA.ii.188 and AA.ii.674) as the younger brother of Sáriputta, under whom he joined the Order, winning arahantship after arduous and strenuous effort.
In the time of Vipassí Buddha he had been a potter and had given to the Buddha a bowl made of clay. The Apadána verses quoted in the Theragáthá Commentary are, in the Apadána itself (Ap.ii.444), ascribed to a monk named Ekapattadáyaka. They make no mention whatever of his relationship to Sáriputta. On the other hand, there are to be found elsewhere in the Apadána (Ap.i.101f) certain verses ascribed to a Cunda Thera, which definitely state that he was the son of the brahmin Vanganta, and that his mother was Sárí. But in these verses he is called Cúla-Cunda, and mention is made of his previous birth in the time of Siddhattha Buddha, to whom he gave a bouquet of jasmine flowers. As a result he became king of the devas seventy-seven times and was once king of men, by name Dujjaya. It is further stated that he became arahant while yet a sámanera and that he waited upon the Buddha and his own brother and other virtuous monks. This account goes on to say that after his brother's death, Cunda brought his relics in a bowl and presented them to the Buddha, who uttered praises of Sáriputta. This would identify Cúla-Cunda with Cunda Samanuddesa who, according to the Samyutta Nikáya (S.v.161f), attended Sáriputta in his last illness and, after his death, brought to the Buddha at Jetavana Sáriputta's bowl and outer robe and his relics wrapt in his water-strainer. Therefore if Buddhaghosa is correct in identifying Cunda Samanuddesa with Mahá-Cunda, then all three are one and the same. (Buddhaghosa says that the monks called him Samanuddesa in his youth before his upasampadá, and he never lost the name, DA.iii.907).
Cunda Samanuddesa was, for some time, the personal attendant of the Buddha (ThagA.ii.124; J.iv.95, etc.), and when the Buddha prepared to perform the Twin Miracle, offered to perform a miracle himself and so save the Buddha trouble and exertion (DhA.iii.211). Cunda's teacher was Ananda, and it was to Ananda that he first brought the news of Sáriputta's death. (SA.iii.178; see also the Pásádika Sutta and the Sámagáma Sutta, where Cunda brings to Ananda and then to the Buddha the news of Nigantha Nátaputta's death; see also the Sallekha Sutta).
Mahá-Cunda was evidently a disciple of great eminence, and is mentioned by the Buddha (A.iii.299; see also M.iii.78; Ud.i.5) in company with the Two Chief Disciples, Mahá Kassapa, Mahá Kotthita, Mahá Kaccána and other very eminent Elders.
The Pitakas contain several discourses (A.iii.355; v.41, 157) given to the monks by Mahá-Cunda while residing at Sahajátí among the Cetis, probably after the Buddha's death. Cunda (or Cundaka as he is called in this context) was with the Buddha in his last journey to Kusinárá, and spread a bed for him in the Mango grove by the Kakutthá River (D.ii.134f; Ud.viii.5).
Cunda is mentioned (S.iv.50f.; M.iii.263f ) as having accompanied Sáriputta when he went to see Channa at the Kalandakanivápa in Rájagaha, just before Channa's suicide. Once, when the Buddha lay ill in the Kalandakanivápa, Cunda visited him and they talked of the bojjhangas. There and then the Buddha's sickness vanished. S.v.81.
3. Cunda.-See Cunda-Súkarika.
4. Cunda.-A rájakumára, brother of Cundí and, therefore, son of Bimbisára. (A.iii.35)