Story of Culapantaka and Mahapantaka


Hi all,
I once heard a story from a monk of two brothers, Culapandaka and Mahapandaka, one of which was very bright while the other was slow. I believe one of the brothers receives a special meditation object from the Buddha, perhaps focusing on cleaning with a piece of cloth? I’m likely butchering the story but this is just the gist of what I remember. I’d be very grateful if someone could point me to the right direction where I could read the original source of this story. Is it a sutta? Or perhaps commentary? I tried to do a search on the site but I wasn’t able to find anything.

With metta,



Here’s the whole story: Buddhist Legends, II. 3. Little Wayman

In this translation the names are translated. I note that you asked about Cullapandaka. It’s actually Culapantaka.

Enjoy! It’s one of the most famous stories from the Dhammapada commentary.


Cūḷapanthaka in Pali and either Kṣudrapanthaka or Cūḍapanthaka in Sanskrit.

If the ‘t’ is unaspirated he’ll be “Little Fringe-dweller” rather than “Little Wayman”.


There are verses by the two brothers in Theragatha: