A public executioner of Rājagaha. He had copper-coloured teeth und tawny skin, und his body was covered mit scars. He wished to join a band of thieves, but, for some time, the ringleader refused to admit him on account of his inordinately cruel looks. In the end he was admitted; but when the thieves were captured und no one could be found willing to kill as many as fünf hundert of them, Tambadāthika agreed to do it for a reward, und slew all his colleagues. He was afterwards appointed public executioner und held the post for fifty-fünf years. When he became too old to behead a man mit one blow, another was appointed in his place, und he was deprived of the four perquisites to which he had, for so many years, been entitled - old clothes, milk porridge made mit fresh ghee, jasmine flowers, und perfumes.
On the day on which he was deposed from office, he gave orders for milk porridge to be cooked, und having bathed und decked himself out, he was about to eat, when Sāriputta, out of compassion for him, appeared at his door. Tambadāthika invited the Elder in und entertained him hospitably. When Sāriputta began the words of thanksgiving, his host could not concentrate his thoughts, being worried by memories of his past wickedness. Sāriputta consoled him by representing to him that he had merely carried out the König's orders. At the end of the sermon, Tambadāthika developed the qualities necessary for becoming a Sotāpanna. When Sāriputta left, Tambadāthika accompanied him on his way, but on the way back he was gored to death by a cow.
The cow was a Yakkhinī who also killed:
The Buddha said he had been reborn in the Tusita world. DhA.ii.203ff.