Fame (kitti) is the state of being known by a large number of people and is usually accompanied by admiration, praise and respect. Just a few years after his enlightenment the Buddha had already become famous. It was said of him: `People come from distant regions and countries to consult him. He has numerous followers, he is a teacher of many, he is consulted by the leaders and teachers of different sects come to discuss with him. While some ascetics and brahmins have gained a reputation from things of little importance, the monk Gotama's fame is based on his highest knowledge and conduct' (D.I,116)
The Buddha perceived that those who achieve fame can easily become arrogant, careless and addicted to praise, and he warned his disciples to shun fame where possible. He also made the astute observation that some teachers maintain their integrity only until they become famous, after which it starts to decline (M.I,318). Once, the Buddha said: `I have known a certain person, reading his mind, who would not tell a lie, even for the sake of a golden bowl filled with silver. And yet I have seen this same person tell a deliberate lie because his mind was overcome by and obsessed with gains, honour and fame'(S.II,233).