A Mahásála brahmin of great wealth and learning who lived in Ukkatthá, on a royal demesne given by Pasenadi. Ambattha was the pupil of Pokkharasáti, who sent him to the Buddha at Icchánangala to discover if the report of the Buddha's greatness were true. When Pokkharasáti heard later that Ambattha had been rude to the Buddha, he sought the Buddha by night and begged for his forgiveness. The next day he invited the Buddha to a meal, and having listened to his teaching, declared himself his follower and became a sotápanna (D.i.87f., 106ff). Owing to his eminence, he was present at the meetings of the brahmins held in Manasákata (D.i.235) and Icchánangala (SN.p.115). Vasettha, of the Vásettha Sutta, was also his pupil (SN.vs.594). In the Subha Sutta (M.ii.200ff)*, Subha Todeyyaputta, another disciple, is reported to have said that Pokkharasáti - here described as Opamańńa (of the Upamańńa clan) and lord of Subhagavana (Subhapvanika) treated as empty boasts the claims of brahmins and recluses to transcend ordinary human bonds and rise to the height of Ariyan knowledge. This evidently refers to a time prior to his conversion. The same Sutta mentions a slave girl of Pokkharasáti, Punniká by name.
* the Vimánavatthu gives the name of another of his disciples, Chattamánava (q.v.), who was killed while bringing presents to his teacher. (Vv.v.3; VvA.229ff.)
The Commentaries (DA.i.244f.; MA.ii.804; SNA.462) dwell at length on Pokkharasáti's attractive personality. His body was of the color of the white lotus, like a silver pandal in heaven, his hair the color of sapphire, his eyes like blue lotus, etc. He evidently was of true regal appearance.
In the time of Kassapa Buddha he was a brahmin versed in the three Vedas who, having heard the doctrine and given alms, was reborn in the deva world. Thereafter, scorning birth in the womb of a woman, he sprang to life in a lotus, which grew in a pond in Himáva. An ascetic saw the lotus, adopted the boy, and taught him the Vedas. The king was pleased with his great learning, and gave him Ukkatthá as a mark of great favor. The name of Pokkharasáti was given to him owing to his birth in a lotus.
The Divyávadána (p. 616 ff., 620) calls him Puskarasárí, and tells a story of his daughter Prakrti.