Sunīta was a highly accomplished disciple of the Buddha. He was born in a very poor family who had next to no food and was an outcast whose job was to gather flowers from shrines and throw them away. According to Thanissaro Bhikkhu's translation of the Theragāthā account[1], 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.

Sunīta practiced arduously and eventually became an Arhant. His status was acknowledged by the gods Brahmā and Śakra:

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."


  1. ^ Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu. "Thag 12:2 Sunīta the Outcaste". Retrieved 2019-03-17.