Sunīta was a highly accomplished disciple of the Buddha. He was born in a family of untouchables whose job was of sweeping around the temple area. According to Thanissaro Bhikkhu's translation of the Theragāthā account, Sunīta laments:
- "People found me disgusting,
- despised me, disparaged me.
- Lowering my heart,
- I showed reverence to many."
Sunīta continues, describing his meeting with the Buddha and ordination:
- The compassionate Teacher,
- sympathetic to all the world, said:
- "Come monk."
- That was my formal Acceptance.
- Then, as night was ending
- & the sun returning,
- Indra & Brahmā came to pay homage to me,
- hands palm-to-palm at their hearts:
- "Homage to you,
- O thoroughbred of men,
- Homage to you,
- O man supreme,
- whose effluents are ended.
- You, dear sir,
- are worthy of offerings."
- "Life of Buddha: Sunita, the Scavenger (Part One)". www.buddhanet.net. Retrieved 2020-05-30.
- Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu. "Thag 12:2 Sunīta the Outcaste". dhammatalks.org. Retrieved 2019-03-17.