1. Rahula Thera
Only son of Gotama Buddha. He was born on the day on which his father left
the household life (J.i.60; AA.i.82, etc.; cf. J.i.62). When the Buddha visited
Kapilavatthu for the first time after his Enlightenment and accepted
Suddhodanas invitation, Rahulas mother (Rahulamata) sent the boy to the Buddha
to ask for his inheritance (dayajja). The Buddha gave him no answer, and, at the
conclusion of the meal, left the palace. Rahula followed him, reiterating his
request until at last the Buddha asked Sariputta to ordain him. (According to
SNA.i.340, Moggallana taught him the kammavaca; see also J.ii.393). When
Suddhodana heard of this he protested to the Buddha, and asked as a boon that,
in future, no child should be ordained without the consent of his parents, and
to this the Buddha agreed (Vin.i.82f.; the story of Rahulas conversion is also
given at DhA.i.98f).
It is said (AA.i.145) that immediately after Rahulas ordination the Buddha
preached to him constantly (abhinhovadavasena) many suttas for his guidance.
Rahula himself was eager to receive instruction from the Buddha and his teachers
and would rise early in the morning and take a handful of sand, saying: May I
have today as many words of counsel from my teachers as there are here grains of
sand! The monks constantly spoke of Rahulas amenability, and one day the
Buddha, aware of the subject of their talk, went amongst them and related the
Tipallatthamiga Jataka (J.i.160ff ) and the Tittira Jataka (J.iii.64ff ) to show
them that in past births, too, Rahula had been known for his obedience. When
Rahula was seven years old, the Buddha preached to him the Ambalatthika
Rahulovada Sutta (q.v.) as a warning that he should never lie, even in fun.
Rahula used to accompany the Buddha on his begging rounds. Sometimes he would
accompany Sariputta on his begging rounds. He was present when Sariputta went to
his (Sariputtas) mothers house, where he was roundly abused by her for having
left her. DhA.iv.164f).
Rahula noticed that he harboured carnal thoughts fascinated by his own
physical beauty and that of his father, the Buddha preached to him, at the age
of eighteen, the Maha Rahulovada Sutta (q.v.). Two other suttas, also called
Rahulovada, one included in the Samyutta and the other in the Anguttara (see
below), formed the topics for Rahulas meditation (Vipassana). To these Suttas
Buddhaghosa (MA.i.635) adds the Samanera, or Kumarapanha, and proceeds to
enumerate the different purposes which the Buddha had in view in preaching these
suttas; see also AA.ii.547. SNA.i.340 says, about the Rahula Sutta (q.v.), that
the Buddha constantly preached it to Rahula. See also the Rahula Samyutta.
Later, the Buddha, knowing that Rahulas mind was ripe for final attainment,
went with him alone to Andhavana,