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Anuruddha was one of the five head disciples and a cousin of the Buddha.

Anuruddha was the son of Sukkhodana and brother to Mahanama. Since Sukkhodana was the brother of Suddhodana, king of the Sakyas in Kapilavastu, Anuruddha was cousin to Siddhattha, (Gotama Buddha). He was a kshatriya by birth, enabling him to be raised in wealth. Anuruddha returned to his home town two years after the enlightenment of the Buddha, preaching his ideas to the Sakyan kingdom. Together with his 3 cousins Bhaddiyam, Ananda, and Devadatta and their barber Upali, to become ordained by the Buddha at the Anupiya Mango Grove.

Anuruddha acquired "divine vision" (dibba-cakkhu) and was ranked foremost among those who had the ability. Sariputta assigned the eight thoughts of a great man for Anuruddha to use as a meditation topic. Journeying into the Pacinavamsadaya in the Ceti country to practice, he was able to master seven, but could not learn the eighth, which Buddha taught him. Anuruddha developed insight and then realized arahantship.