Mahākātyāyana (摩訶迦旃延) was born into the Brahmin caste in the kingdom of Avanti in western India. He studied the Vedas under his uncle Asita, a ṛṣi, who foresaw that Prince Siddhārtha would attain Buddhahood. Mahākātyāyana then followed the Buddha in honor of Asita’s death wish. Through diligent training under the Buddha, Mahākātyāyana attained Arhatship. After the parinirvāṇa of the Buddha, he often debated with non-Buddhists, and is considered foremost in polemic.