Nanda was reborn, even before the rebirth of our Teacher, as the daughter of Maha Pajapati Gotami. She was also called Beauty-Nanda, Rupa-Nanda. Later on, because of her surpassing beauty, she became known as Belle-of-the-land, Janapada-Kalyani.
Their Possessor of Ten Forces, having attained Enlightenment, came in due course to Kapila City, made monks of Nanda and Rahula, and departed. After the great king Suddhodana had passed into Nirvana, Maha Pajapati Gotami and Mother of Rahula retired from the world and became nuns under the Teacher.
From the time when Maha, Pajapati Gotami and Mother of Rahula retired from the world, Nanda reflected: "What is there for me to do here?" So she went to Maha Pajapati Gotami and became a nun.
From the day when she retired from the world, she heard it said: "The Teacher finds fault with beauty of form." Therefore she refrained from going to wait upon the Teacher. When the time came for the Teacher to give admonition, she sent another in her place, saying: "Fetch me home the admonition."
The Teacher, knowing that she was intoxicated solely with the intoxication of her own beauty, said: "Let her come all by herself and get her own admonition. No nun is permitted to send any other person in her place."
So Rupa-Nanda, seeing no other way, much against her will, went to receive admonition. The Teacher, by reason of her conduct, put forth his magical power and created a single woman's form, causing her to take a palm-leaf fan and fan him, as it were. Rupa-Nanda, seeing that form, thought: "I have refrained from coming here because I have been intoxicated with my own beauty,--and for no reason at all! To think that such women as these walk on terms of intimacy with the Teacher! I have refrained from coming here all this time, not knowing that my own beauty does not come within a fractional part of their beauty!" Spell-bound by that very woman, she stood gazing at her. Because of her accumulation of causes in previous states of existence, the Teacher recited to her the following stanza found in the Dhammapada:
"It is a city made of bones, plastered with flesh and blood,
Also the Sutta:
"Whether walking or standing or sitting or lying,
Whoever, walking or standing or sitting or lying,
Rupa-Nanda, concentrating her attention on that very form, set going the mental reflex of Decay and Death and attained Sainthood.