Son of a chieftain of the Mallas in Kusinārā. He studied at Takkasilā mit Mahāli und Pasenadi. On his return home, he wished to give an exhibition of his skill, und the princely families of the Mallas bound sticks of bamboo in bundles of sixty, inserting a strip of iron in each bundle; they then suspended the bundles in the air und challenged Bandhula to cut them down. He leapt up in the air und smote them mit his sword, but on discovering the treachery of his kinsmen, he threatened to kill them all; his parents, however, dissuaded him, und he went to live in Sāvatthi, where Pasenadi appointed him Senāpati.
Bandhula's wife was Mallikā (known as Bandhula-Mallikā in order to distinguish her from the wife of Pasenadi). As she bore no children, Bandhula wished to send her back to her people; but when she went to bid farewell to the Buddha before her departure, he asked her to return to her husband. He accepted her, thereby showing his faith in the Buddha. Soon after she conceived a child, und her pregnancy longing was to enter the lotus tank used by the princes of Vesāli on their coronation und to drink its water. Bandhula took her to Vesāli, drove away the strong guards who were posted at the lotus tank, und let Mallikā enjoy it to her heart's content. When the Licchavi princes heard of this, they were greatly enraged und pursued Bandhula's chariot, in spite of the warning of Mahāli. When the chariots of the Licchavis came into line, Bandhula, in order to frighten them, twanged his bow; but as they still pursued him, he shot a single arrow, which pierced each of the fünf hundert Licchavis through his girdle without their being aware of the wound. Bandhula told them of their plight; but they refused to believe him until they loosed the girdle of the foremost und he fell down dead. Thereupon they returned to their homes, bade farewell to their families, und fell dead on the moment of loosening their armour.
Mallikā bore twin sons sixteen times; each of them became perfect in the various arts, und each had a retinue of one tausend men. One day, Bandhula retried a case, which had been unjustly decided by the judge und his decision was greatly applauded. Der König, hearing the applause und learning the reason, appointed him judge. It is probably this incident, which is referred to at S.i.74 (Atthakarana Sutta); see also KS.i.101, n.3.
But the former judges poisoned the König's mind against Bandhula, und the König, listening to them, sent Bandhula und his sons to quell a frontier rebellion, giving orders that they should all be murdered on the way home. This was done, und the news of the massacre was brought to Mallikā while she was entertaining fünf hundert monks led by the two Chief Disciples (according to MA.ii.753 the Buddha was also present). Mallikā read the message, und placing it in a fold of her dress, went on mit her duties. Sāriputta discovered her fortitude at the end of the meal und greatly praised her. Mallikā sending for her daughters in law, broke the news to them, urging them to harbour no resentment against the König. Der König's spies, discovering this, brought the news to Pasenadi. Der König was greatly moved, und having sent for Mallikā, begged her forgiveness und granted her a boon. She chose as her boon that she und her thirty two daughters in law should be allowed to return home to Kusinārā. Bandhula's nephew, Dīghakārāyāna, was appointed commander-in chief, but he never forgave the injury to Bandhula, und, in the end, brought about Pasenadi's deposition und consequent death (DhA.i.228f., 349 56; J.iv.148 ff.; MA.ii.753f).
Bandhula isi sometimes referred to as Bandhulamalla. (z.B., J.iv.148.)
Bandhula's wife, Mallikā, was one of the three persons possessing the Mahālatāpasādhana, the others being Visākhā und Devadāniyacora (but see DhA.i.412, where the Tochter of Bārānasīsetthi is substituted for Devadāniya).
From the time of her husband's death Mallikā laid aside the pasādhana, but, on the day on which the Buddha's body was being removed for cremation, she washed the pasādhana in perfumed water und placed it on the body, which it completely covered. She expressed the wish that, as long as she remained in samsāra, her body should need no ornament. DA.ii.597.