When  the Blessed One was residing on the mount  called  Vulture’s

Peak,  near Rajagaha,  Ajatasattu the king of Magadha,  who reigned in

the place of Bimbisara,  planned an attack on the Vajjis,  and he said

to Vassakara,  his prime minister: “I will root out the Vajjis, mighty

though they be.  I will destroy the Vajjis; I will bring them to utter

ruin!   Come now,  O Brahman, and go to the Blessed One: inquire in my

name for his health,  and tell him my purpose.  Bear carefully in mind

what  the Blessed One may say,  and repeat it to me,  for the  Buddhas

speak nothing untrue.                                                1

When Vassakara, the prime minister, had greeted the Blessed One and

delivered his message,  the venerable Ananda stood behind the  Blessed

One and fanned him, and the Blessed One said to him: “Hast thou heard,

Ananda, that the Vajjis hold full and frequent public assemblies?”   2

   “Lord, so I have heard,” replied he.                              3

“So long,  Ananda,”said the Blessed One,  “as the Vajjis hold these

full  and  frequent public assemblies,  they may be  expected  not  to

decline, but to prosper.  So long as they meet together in concord, so

long as they honour their elders,  so long as they respect  womanhood,

so long as they remain religious, performing all proper rites, so long

as  they extend the rightful protection,  defence and support  to  the

holy  ones,  the  Vajjis  may  be expected  not  to  decline,  but  to

prosper.”                                                            4

Then the Blessed One addressed Vassakara and said:  “When I stayed,

O Brahman, at Vesali, I taught the Vajjis these conditions of welfare,

that  so long as they should remain well instructed,  so long as  they

will  continue  in  the right path,  so long as they live  up  to  the

precepts of righteousness, we could expect them not to decline, but to

prosper.”                                                            5

As soon as the king’s messenger had gone,  the Blessed One had  the

brethren, that were in the neighbourhood of Rajagaha, assembled in the

service-hall, and addressed them, saying:                            6

“I will teach you,  O bhikkhus,  the conditions of the welfare of a

community.  Listen well, and I will speak.                           7

“So  long,  O bhikkhus,  as the brethren hold  full  and  frequent

assemblies,  meeting in concord,  rising in concord,  and attending in

concord to the affairs of the Sangha;  so long as they, O bhikkhus, do

not  abrogate  that  which  experience has  proved  to  be  good,  and

introduce nothing except such things as have been carefully tested; so

long as their elders practise justice; so long as the brethren esteem,

revere,  and support their elders,  and hearken unto their  words;  so

long  as  the brethren are not under the  influence  of  craving,  but

delight in the blessings of religion,  so that good and holy men shall

come  to them and dwell among them in quiet;  so long as the  brethren

shall  exercise  themselves in the sevenfold higher  widom  of  mental

activity,  search after  truth,  energy,  joy,  modest,  self-control,

earnest contemplation,  and equanimity of mind,  - so long the  Sangha

may be expected not to decline, but to prosper.                      8

“Therefore,  O bhikkhus,  be full of faith, modest in heart, afraid

of sin,  anxious to learn,  strong in energy, active in mind, and full

of wisdom.”                                                          9


The Blessed One proceeded with a great company of the brethren  to

Nalanda; and there he stayed in a mango grove.                       1

Now the venerable Sariputta came to the place where the Blessed One

was,  and having saluted him,  took his seat respectfully at his side,

and said:  “Lord!  such faith have I in the Blessed One, that methinks

there never has been,  nor will be, nor is there now any other, who is

greater or wiser than the Blessed One,  that is to say, as regards the

higher wisdom.”                                                      2

Replied  the Blessed One:  “Grand and bold are the  words  of  thy

mouth,  Sariputta:  verily,  thou  hast  burst forth into  a  song  of

ecsatcy!   Surely then thou hast known all the Blessed Ones who in the

long ages of the past have been holy Buddhas?”                       3

   “Not so, O Lord!” said Sariputta.                                 4

And the Lord continued:  “Then thou hast perceived all the  Blessed

Ones who in the long ages of the future shall be holy Buddhas?”      5

   “Not so, Lord!’                                                   6

“But at least then, O Sariputta, thou knowest me as the holy Buddha

now alive, and hast penetrated my mind.”                             7

   “Not even that, O Lord!”                                          8

“Thou seest then,  Sariputta,  that thou knowest not the hearts  of the  holy Buddhas of the past nor the hearts of those of  the  future.

Why,  therefore,  are thy words so grand and bold?   Why burstest thou

forth into such a song of ecstacy?”                                  9

“O Lord!  I have not the knowledge of the hearts of all the Buddhas that have been and are to come,  and now are.  I only know the lineage of the faith.   Just as a king, Lord, might have a border city, strong in its foundations, strong in its ramparts and with one gate only; and the king might have a watchman there,  clever,  expert,  and wise,  to stop  all  strangers and admit only friends.   And on going  over  the approaches all about the city,  he might not be able so to observe all the joints and crevices in the ramparts of that city as to know  where such  a small creature as a cat could get out.   That might  well  be.

Yet  all living beings of larger size that entered or left  the  city,

would have to pass through that gate.   Thus only is it,  Lord, that I

know  the lineage of the faith.   I know that the holy Buddhas of  the

past,  putting  away all lust,  ill-will,  sloth,  pride,  and  doubt,

knowing  all those mental faults which make men weak,  training  their

minds  in the four kinds of mental  activity,  throroughly  exercising

themselves in the sevenfold higher wisdom,  received the full fruition

of  Enlightenment.   And I know that the holy Buddhas of the times  to

come  will do the same.   And I know that the Blessed  One,  the  holy

Buddha of to-day, has done so now.”                                 10

“Great is thy faith,  O Sariputta,” replied the Blessed  One,  “but

take heed that it be well grounded.”                                11


When the Blessed One had stayed as long as convenient at  Nalanda,

he  went to Pataliputta,  the frontier town of Magadha;  and when  the

disciples  at Pataliputta heard of his arrival,  they invited  him  to

their village rest-house.  And the Blessed One robed himself, took his

bowl  and went with the brethren to the rest-house.   There he  washed

his  feet,  entered the hall,  and seated himself against  the  center

pillar,  with his face towards the east.   The brethren,  also, having

washed their feet,  entered the hall,  and took their seats round  the

Blessed One,  against the western wall,  facing the east.  And the lay

devotees of Pataliputta,  having also washed their feet,  entered  the

hall,  and  took  their  seats opposite the Blessed  One  against  the

eastern wall, facing towards the west.                               1

Then the Blessed One addressed the lay-disciples  of  Pataliputta,

and he said:                                                         2

“Fivefold,  O householders,  is the loss of the wrong-doer  through

his want of rectitude.   In the first place, the wrong-doer, devoid of

rectitude,  falls into great poverty through sloth; in the next place,

his  evil  repute gets noised abroad;  thirdly,  whatever  society  he

enters shyly and confusedly;  fourthly,  he is full of anxiety when he

dies; and lastly, on the dissolution of the body after death, his mind

remains in an unhappy state.  Wherever his karma continues, there will

be suffering and woe.   This,  O householders, is the fivefold loss of

the evil-doer!                                                       3

“Fivefold, O householders, is the gain of the well-doer through his

practice of rectitude.   In the first place the well-doer,  strong  in

rectitude,  acquires property through his industry; in the next place,

good reports of him are spread abroad;  thirdly,  whatever society  he

enters,  whether of nobles,  Brahmans,  heads of houses, or members of

the order, he enters with confidence and self-possession; fourthly, he

dies without anxiety;  and lastly, on the dissolution after death, his

mind remains in a happy state.   Wherever his karma  continues,  there

will  be  heavenly bliss and peace.   This,  O  householders,  is  the

fivefold gain of the well-doer.”                                     4

When the Blessed One had taught the disciples,  and incited  them,

and roused them,  and gladdened them far into the night with religious

edification,  he dimissed them,  saying,  “The night is far  spent,  O

householders.  It is time for you to do what ye deem most fit.”      5

“Be it so, Lord!” answered the disciples of Pataliputta, and rising

from their seats,  they bowed to the Blessed One,  and keeping him  on

their right hand as they passed him, they departed thence.           6

While the Blessed One stayed at Pataliputta,  the king of  Magadha

sent   a   messenger  to  the  governor  of   Pataliputta   to   raise

fortifications for the security of the town.                         7

And  the Blessed One seeing the labourers at  work  predicted  the

future greatness of the place, saying: “The men who build the fortress

act  as  if  they  had consulted higher  powers.   For  this  city  of

Pataliputta will be a dwelling-place of busy men and a center for  the

exchange  of  all  kinds  of  goods.   But  three  dangers  hang  over

Pataliputta, that of fire, that of water, that of dissension.”       8

When the governor heard of the prophecy of Pataliputta’s future, he

greatly rejoiced and named the city-gate through which the Buddha  had

gone towards the river Ganges, “The Gotama Gate.”                    9

Meanwhile the people living on the banks of the Ganges arrived  in great  numbers  to pay reverence to the Lord of the  world;  and  many persons asked him to do them the honour to cross over in their  boats.

But  the  Blessed One considering the number of the  boats  and  their

beauty  did  not want to show any partiality,  and  by  accepting  the

invitation of one to offend all the others.   He therefore crossed the

river  without  any  boat,   signifying  thereby  that  the  rafts  of

asceticism  and  the gaudy gondolas of religious ceremonies  were  not

staunch enough to weather the storms of Samsara,  while the  Tathagata

can walk dry-shod over the ocean of worldliness.                    10

And as the city-gate was called after the name of the Tathagata  so

the people called this passage of the river “Gotama Ford.”          11


The  Blessed  One proceeded to the village  Nadika  with  a  great

company  of brethren and there he stayed at the Brick Hall.   And  the

venerable  Ananda  went to the Blessed One and mentioning to  him  the

names  of the brethren and sisters that had died,  anxiously  inquired

about their fate after death,  whether they had been reborn in animals

or in hell, or as ghosts, or in any place of woe.                    1

   And the Blessed One replied to Ananda and said:                   2

“Those who have died after the complete destruction of  the  three

bonds  of lust,  or convetousness and of the egotistical  cleaving  to

existence,  need  not fear the state after death.   They will  not  be

reborn  in a state of suffering;  their minds will not continue  as  a

karma of evil deeds or sin, but are assured of final salvation.      3

“When  they  die,  nothing  will remain of  them  but  their  good

thoughts, their righteous acts, and the bliss that proceeds from truth

and righteousness.   As rivers must at last reach the distant main, so

their minds will be reborn in higher states of existence and  continue

to be pressing on to their ultimate goal which is the ocean of  truth,

the eternal peace of Nirvana.                                        4

“Men  are  anxious about death and their  fate  after  death;  but

consider,  it is not at all strange, Ananda, that a human being should

die.  However, that thou shouldst inquire about them, and having heard

the truth still b e anxious about the dead,  this is wearisome to  the

Blessed One.   I will,  therefore,  teach thee the mirror of truth and

let the faithful disciple repeat it:                                 5

“’Hell is destroyed for me,  and rebirth as an animal,  or a ghost,

or in any place of woe.   I am converted;  I am no longer liable to be

reborn in a state of suffering, and am assured of final salvation.’  6

“What,  then,  Ananda,  is  this  mirror  of  truth?   It  is  the

conciousness  that  the elect disciple is in this world  possessed  of

faith in the Buddha, believing the Blessed One to be the Holy One, the

Fully-enlightened One,  wise,  upright, happy, world-knowing, supreme,

the Bridler of men’s way ward hearts, the Teacher of gods and men, the

blessed Buddha.                                                      7

“It is further the conciousness that the disciple is possessed  of

faith in the truth, believing the truth to have been proclaimed by the

Blessed One, for the benefit of the world, passing not away, welcoming

all, leading to salvation, to which through truth the wise will atain,

each one by one by his own efforts.                                  8

“And,  finally,  it  is  the conciousness  that  the  disciple  is

possessed of faith in the order,  believing in the efficacy of a union

among  those  men  and  women who are anxious to  walk  in  the  noble

eightfold path;  believing the church of the Buddha, of the righteous,

the upright,  the just,  the law-abiding,  to be worthy of honour,  of

hospitality,  of gifts,  and of reverence;  to be the supreme  sowing-

ground of merit for the world;  to be possesed of the virtues  beloved

by the good, virtues unbroken, intact, unspotted, unblemished, virtues

which make men truly free,  virtues which are praised by the wise, are

untarnished by the desire of selfish aims,  either now or in a  future

life,  or  by  the belief in the efficacy of  outward  acts,  and  are

conducive to high and holy thought.                                  9

“This is the mirror of truth which teaches the straightest way  to

enlightenment  which is the common goal of all living  creatures.   He

who  possesses  the mirror of truth is free from fear;  he  will  find

comfort in the tribulations of life,  and his life will be a  blessing

to all his fellow-creatures.”                                       10


Then the Blessed One proceeded with a great number of brethren  to

Vesali,  and he stayed at the grove of the courtesan Ambapali.  And he

said  to the brethren:  “Let a brother,  O bhikkhus,  be  mindful  and

thoughtful.   Let a brother,  whilst in the world,  overcome the grief

which  arises from bodily craving,  from the lust of  sensations,  and

from the errors of wrong reasoning.   Whatever you do,  act always  in

full  presence  of mind.   Be thoughtful in eating  and  drinking,  in

walking or standing,  in sleeping or walking,  while  talking or being

silent.”                                                             1

When the courtesan Ambapali, heard that the Blessed One was staying

in her mango grove, she was exceedingly glad and went in a carriage as

far as the ground was passible for carriages.   There she alighted and

thence proceeding to the place where the Blessed One was, she took her

seat  respectfully at his feet on one side.   As a prudent woman  goes

forth  to perform her religious duties,  so she appeared in  a  simple

dress without any ornaments, yet beautiful to look upon.             2

And  the  Blessed One thought to himself:  “This  woman  moves  in

worldly  circles and is a favourite of kings and princes;  yet is  her

heart  calm  and  composed.   Young  in  years,  rich,  surrounded  by

pleasures,  she is thoughtful and steadfast.  This, indeed, is rare in

the world.   Women, as a rule, are scant in wisdom and deeply immersed

in vanity; but she, although living in luxury, has acquired the wisdom

of a master, taking delight in piety, and able to receive the truth in

its completeness.”                                                   3

When she was seated,  the Blessed  One  instructed,  aroused,  and

gladdened her with religious discourse.                              4

As she listened to the law, her face brightened with delight.  Then

she rose and said to the Blessed One:  “Will the Blessed One do me the

honour of taking his meal, together with the brethren, at my house to-

morrow?”  And the Blessed One gave, by silence, his consent.         5

Now,  the Licchavi, a wealthy family of princely rank, hearing that

the  Blessed One had arrived at Vesali and was staying  at  Ambapali’s

grove,  mounted their magnificent carriages,  and proceeded with their

retinue to the place where the Blessed One was.  And the Licchavi were

gorgeously  dressed  in  bright  colours  and  decorated  with  costly

jewels.                                                              6

And Ambapali drove up against the young Licchavi,  axle  to  axle,

wheel to whell,  and yoke to yoke,  and the Licchavi said to Ambapali,

the  courtesan:  “How is it,  Ambapali,  that you drive up against  us

thus?”                                                               7

“My lords,” said she,  “I have just invited the Blessed One and his

brethren for their to-morrow’s meal.”                                8

And the princes replied:  “Ambapali!  give up this meal to us for a

hundred thousand.”                                                   9

“My lords, were you to offer all Vesali with its subject territory,

I would not give up so great an honour!”                            10

   Then the Licchavi went on to Ambapali’s grove.                   11

When the Blessed One saw the Licchavi approaching in the  distance,

he addressed the brethren,  and said:  “O brethren,  let those of  the

brethren  who have never seen the gods gaze upon this company  of  the

Licchavi, for they are dressed gorgeously, like immortals.”         12

And  when they had driven as far as the ground  was  passable  for

carriages,  the Licchavi alighted and went on foot to the place  where

the Blesse One was,  taking their seats respectfully by his side.  And

when they were thus seated,  the Blessed One instructed,  aroused, and

gladdened, them with religious discourse.                           13

Then they addressed the Blessed One and said: “Will the Blessed One

do us the honour of taking his meal,  together with the  brethren,  at

our place to-morrow?”                                               14

“O Licchavi,” said the Blessed One,  “I have promised to dine  to-

morrow with Ambapali, the courtesan.”                               15

Then the Licchavi,  expressing their approval of the words of  the

Blessed One,  arose from their seats and bowed down before the Blessed

One,  and,  keeping him on their right hand as they passed  him,  they

departed thence;  but when they came home,  they cast up their  hands,

saying: “A worldly woman has outdone us; we have been left behind by a

frivolous girl!”                                                    16

And at the end of the night Ambapali,  the courtesan, made ready in

her  mansion  sweet  rice and cakes,  and on the  next  day  announced

through a messenger the time to the Blessed One,  saying,  “The  hour,

Lord, has come, and the meal is ready!”                             17

And the Blessed One robed himself early in the morning,  took  his

bowl,  and  went  with  the brethren to  the  place  where  Ambapali’s

dwelling-house  was;   and  when  they  had  come  there  they  seated

themselves  on  the  seats  prepared  for  them.   And  Ambapali,  the

courtesan,  set  the sweet rice and cakes before the order,  with  the

Buddha at their head,  and waited upon them till they refused to  take

more.                                                               18

And the Blessed One had finished his meal,  the courtesan had a low

stool  brought,  and sat down at his side,  and addressed the  Blessed

One, and said: “Lord, I present this mansion to the order of bhikkhus,

of which the Buddha is the chief.”                                  19

And  the Blessed One accepted the  gift;  and  after  instructing,

arousing,  and gladdening her with religious edification, he rose from

his seat and departed thence.                                       20


When  the  Blessed  One  had remained as  long  as  he  wished  at

Ambapali’s grove,  he went to Beluva,  near Vesali.  There the Blessed

One  addressed the brethren,  and said:  “O mendicants,  take up  your

abode for the rainy season round about Vesali,  each one according  to

the  place where his friends and near companions may  live.   I  shall

enter upon the rainy season here at Beluva.”                         1

When the Blessed One had thus entered upon the rainy season  there

fell upon him a dire sickness, and sharp pains came upon him even unto

death.   But  the Blessed One,  mindful and self-possessed,  bore  his

ailments without complaint.                                          2

Then  this thought occured to the Blessed One,  “It would  not  be

right for me to pass away from life without addressing the  disciples,

without taking leave of the order.   Let me now, by a strong effort of

the  will,  subdue this sickness,  and keep my hold on life  till  the

alloted time have come.”                                             3

And the Blessed One,  by a strong effort of the will  subdued  the

sickness, and kept his hold on life till the time he fixed upon should

come.  And the sickness abated.                                      4

Thus the Blessed One began to recover;  and when he had quite  got

rid of the sickness, he went out from the monastery, and sat down on a

seat  spread  out  in  the  open  air.    And  the  venerable  Ananda,

accompanied by many other disciples,  approached where the Blessed One

was, saluted him, and taking a seat respectfully on one side, said: “I

have  beheld,  Lord,  how the Blessed One was in health,  and  I  have

beheld how the Blessed One had to suffer.   And though at the sight of

the sickness of the Blessed One my body became weak as a creeper,  and

the horizon became dim to me,  and my faculties were no longer  clear,

yet  notwithstanding I took some little comfort from the thought  that

the  Blessed One would not pass away from existence until at least  he

had left instructions as touching the order.”                        5

And  the  Blessed One addressed Ananda in  behalf  of  the  order,

saying:                                                              6

“What,  then, Ananda, does the order expect of me?  I have preached

the truth without making any distinction between exoteric and esoteric

doctrine;  for in respect of the truth,  Ananda,  the Tathagata has no

such  thing  as the closed fist of a teacher,  who keeps  some  things

back.                                                                7

“Surely,  Ananda, should there be any one who harbours the thought,

‘it  is  I  who  will lead the brotherhood,’  or,  ‘The  is  order  is

dependent  upon  me,’ he should lay down instructions  in  any  matter

concerning the order.   Now the Tathagata,  Ananda, thinks not that it

is he who should lead the brotherhood,  or that the order is dependent

upon him.                                                            8

“Why,  then,  should the Tathagata leave instruction in any  matter

concerning the order?                                                9

“I am now grown old,  O Ananda,  and full of years;  my journey  is

drawing to its close,  I have reached the sum of my days, I am turning

eighty years of age.                                                10

“Just as a worn-out cart cannot be made to move along without  much

difficulty,  so the body of the Tathagata can only be kept going  with

much additional care.                                               11

“It is only,  Ananda, when the Tathagata, ceasing to attend to  any

outward  thing,  becomes plunged into that devout meditation of  heart

which  is concerned with no bodily object,  it is only then  that  the

body of the Tathagata is at ease.                                   12

“Therefore,  O  Ananda,  be ye lamps  unto  yourselves.   Rely  on

yourselves, and do not rely on external help.                       13

“Hold fast to the truth as a lamp.   Seek salvation alone  in  the

truth. Look not for assistance to any one besides yourselves.       14

“And how,  Ananda,  can a brother be lamp unto  himself,  rely  on

himself only and not on any external help,  holding fast to the  truth

as his lamp and seeking salvation in the truth alone,  looking not for

assistance to any one besides himself?                              15

“Herein,  O Ananda,  let a brother,  as he dwells in the  body,  so

regard the body that he,  being strenuous,  thoughtful,  and  mindful,

may,  whilst  in the world,  overcome the grief which arises from  the

body’s cravings.                                                    16

“While  subject to sensations let him continue so  to  regard  the

sensations that he,  being strenuous,  thoughtful,  and mindful,  may,

whilst  in  the  world,  overcome  the grief  which  arises  from  the

sensations.                                                         17

“And so,  also,  when he thinks or reasons,  or feels,  let him  so

regard his thoughts that being strenuous,  thoughtful,  and mindful he

may,  whilst  in the world,  overcome the grief which arises from  the

craving due to ideas, or to reasoning, or to feeling.               18

“Those who,  either now or after I am dead,  shall be  lamps  unto

themselves,  relying  upon  themselves only and not relying  upon  any

external  help,  but  holding fast in the truth  as  their  lamp,  and

seeking  their salvation in the truth alone,  and shall not  look  for

assistance to any one besides themselves, it is they, Ananda, among my

bhikkhus,  who shall reach the very height!   But they must be anxious

to learn.”                                                          19



Said the Tathagata to Ananda:  “In former years,  Ananda, Mara, the

Evil One, approached the holy Buddha three times to tempt him.       1

“And now,  Ananda,  Mara,  the Evil One,  came again to-day to  the

place where I was,  and,  standing beside me, addressed me in the same

words as he did when I was resting under the shepherd’s Nigrodha  tree

on the bank of the Neranyjara river: ‘Be greeted, thou Holy One.  Thou

hast attained the highest bliss and it is time for thee to enter  into

the final Nirvana.’                                                  2

“And when Mara had thus spoken,  Ananda,  I answered him and  said:

‘Make  thyself happy,  O wicked one;  the extinction of the  Tathagata

shall take place before long.’”                                      3

And  the  venerable Ananda addressed the  Blessed  One  and  said:

“Vouchsafe,  Lord,  to remain with us, O Blessed One! for the good and

the happiness of the great multitudes,  out of pity for the world, for

the good and the gain of mankind!”                                   4

Said  the  Blessed One:  “Enough  now,  Ananda,  beseech  not  the

Tathagata!”                                                          5

And again, a second time, the venerable Ananda besought the Blessed

One in the same words.   And he received from the Blessed One the same

reply.                                                               6

And  again,  the third time,  the venerable  Ananda  besought  the

Blessed  One  to live longer;  and the Blessed One  said:  “Hast  thou

faith, Ananda?”                                                      7

   Said Ananda: “I have, my Lord!”                                   8

And the Blessed One,  seeing the quivering eyelids of Ananda,  read

the  deep  grief in the heart of his beloved disciple,  and  he  asked

again: “Hast thou, indeed, faith, Ananda?”                           9

   And Ananda said: “I have faith, my Lord.”                        10

Then the Blessed One continued: “If thou hast faith, Ananda, in the

wisdom of the Tathagata,  why,  then,  Ananda,  dost thou trouble  the

Tathagata even until the third time?   Have I not formerly declared to

you  that  it is in the very nature of all compound things  that  they

must be dissolved again.   We must separate ourselves from all  things

near and dear to us, and must leave them.  How then, Ananda, can it be

possible for me to remain,  since everything that is born,  or brought

into  being,  and  organized,  contains  within  itself  the  inherent

necessity of dissolution?   How,  then,  can it be possible that  this

body  of mine should not be dissolved?   No such condition can  exist!

And this mortal existence, O Ananda, has been relinquished, cast away,

renounced, rejected, and abandoned by the Tathagata.”               11

And the Blessed One said to Ananda:  “Go now,  Ananda, and assemble

in   the  Service  Hall  such  of  the  brethren  as  reside  in   the

neighbourhood of Vesali.”                                           12

Then the Blessed One proceeded to the Service Hall,  and sat  down

there  on the mat spread out for him.   And when he  was  seated,  the

Blessed One addressed the brethren, and said:                       13

“O  brethren,  ye to whom the truth has been  made  known,  having

thoroughly made yourselves masters of it,  practise it,  meditate upon

it,  and spread it abroad,  in order that pure religion may last  long

and  be perpetuated,  in order that it may continue for the  good  and

happiness of the great multitudes,  out of pity for the world,  and to

the good and gain of all living beings!                             14

“Star-gazing and astrology, forecasting lucky or unfortunate events

by  signs,   prognosticating  good  or  evil,  all  these  are  things

forbidden.                                                          15

“He who lets his heart go loose without restraint shall not  attain

Nirvana;  therefore,  must we hold the heart in check, and retire from

worldly excitements and seek tranquillity of mind.                  16

“Eat your food to satisfy your hunger,  and drink to satisfy  your

thirst.   Satisfy the necessities of life like the butterfly that sips

the flower, without destroying its fragrance or its texture.        17

“It is through not understanding and grasping the four  truths,  O

brethren, that we have gone astray so long, and wandered in this weary

path  of  transmigrations,  both you and I,  until we have  found  the

truth.                                                              18

“Practise the earnest meditations I have taught you.   Continue  in

the  great  struggle  against sin.   Walk steadily  in  the  roads  of

saintship.   Be  strong  in  moral powers.   Let the  organs  of  your

spiritual  sense be quick.  When the seven kinds of  wisdom  enlighten

your  mind,  you  will find the noble,  eightfold path that  leads  to

Nirvana.                                                            19

“Behold,  O brethren,  the final extinction of the Tathagata  will

take  place before long.   I now exhort you,  saying:  ‘All  component

things must grow old and be dissolved again.   Seek ye for that  which

is permanent, and work out your salvation with diligence.’”         20


And the Blessed One went to Pava.                                 1

When Chunda,  the worker in metals,  heard that the Blessed One had

come to Pava and was staying in his mango grove, he came to the Buddha

and  respectfully invited him and the brethren to take their  meal  at

his house.   And Chunda prepared rice-cakes and a dish of dried boar’s

meat.                                                                2

When the Blessed One had eaten the food prepared  by  Chunda,  the

worder in metals,  there fell upon him a dire sickness, and sharp pain

came upon him even unto death.  But the Blessed One, mindful and self-

possessed, bore it without complaint.                                3

And  the Blessed One addressed the  venerable  Ananda,  and  said:

“Come, Ananda, let us go on to Kusinara.”                            4

On his way the Blessed One grew tired,  and he went aside from  the

road to rest at the foot of a tree,  and said:  “Fold the robe, I pray

thee,  Ananda, and spread it out for me.  I am weary, Ananda, and must

rest awhile!”                                                        5

“Be it so,  Lord!” said the venerable Ananda; and he spread out the

robe folded fourfold.                                                6

The Blessed One seated himself, and when he was seated he addressed

the venerable Ananda,  and said:  “Fetch me some water,  I pray  thee,

Ananda, I am thirsty, Ananda, and would drink.”                      7

When he had thus spoken,  the venerable Ananda said to the  Blessed One:  “But  just now,  Lord,  five hundred carts have gone across  the brook and have stirred the water; but a river, O Lord, is not far off.

Its water is clear and pleasant,  cool and transparent, and it is easy

to  get down to it.   There the Blessed One may both drink  water  and

cool his limbs.”                                                     8

A  second  time the Blessed One addressed  the  venerable  Ananda,

saying:  “Fetch  me some water,  I pray thee,  Ananda,  I am  thirsty,

Ananda, and would drink.”                                            9

And  a second time the venerable Ananda said:  “Let us go  to  the

river.”                                                             10

Then the third time the Blessed One addressed the venerable Ananda,

and said:  “Fetch me some water,  I pray thee,  Ananda,  I am thirsty,

Ananda, and would drink.”                                           11

“Be  it  so,  Lord!” said the venerable Ananda in  assent  to  the

Blessed One;  and,  taking a bowl, he went down to the streamlet.  And

lo!  the streamlet, which stirred up by wheels, had become muddy, when

the venerable Ananda came up to it,  flowed clear and bright and  free

from all turbidity.  And he thought: “How wonderful, how marvellous is

the great might and power of the Tathagata!”                        12

Ananda brought the water in the bowl to the Lord,  saying: “Let the

Blessed One take the bowl.   Let the Happy One drink the  water.   Let

the teacher of men and gods quench his thirst.”                     13

   Then the Blessed One drank of the water.                         14

Now, at that time a man of low caste, named Pukkusa, a young Malla,

a  disciple  of Alara Kalama,  was passing along the  high  road  from

Kusinara to Pava.                                                   15

And Pukkusa,  the young Malla,  saw the Blessed One seated at  the

foot  of a tree.   On seeing him,  he went up to the place  where  the

Blessed One was,  and when he had come there,  he saluted the  Blessed

One and took his seat respectfully on one side.   Then the Blessed One

instructed,  edified,  and gladdened Pukkusa,  the young  Malla,  with

religious discourse.                                                16

Aroused and gladdened by the words of the Blessed One, Pukkusa, the

young  Malla,  addressed a certain man who happened to  pass  by,  and

said: “Fetch me, I pray thee, my good man, two robes of cloth of gold,

burnished and ready for wear.”                                      17

“Be it so,  sir!” said that man in assent to  Pukkusa,  the  young

Malla;  and he brought two robes of cloth of gold, burnished and ready

for wear.                                                           18

And  the Malla Pukkusa presented the two robes of cloth  of  gold,

burnished and ready for wear, to the Blessed One, saying: “Lord, these

two  robes  of burnished cloth of gold are ready for  wear.   May  the

Blessed One show me favour and accept them at my hands!”            19

The Blessed One said:  “Pukkusa,  robe me in one, and Ananda in the

other.”                                                             20

And the Tathagata’s body appeared shining like a flame,  and he was

beautiful above all expression.                                     21

And the venerable Ananda said to the Blessed One:  “How wonderful a

thing is it,  Lord, and how marvellous, that the colour of the skin of

the  Blessed One should be so clear,  so exceedingly bright!   When  I

placed this robe of burnished cloth of gold on the body of the Blessed

One, lo! it seemed as if it had lost its splendour!”                22

The  Blessed  One  said:  “There are  two  occasions  on  which  a

Tathagata’s  appearance becomes clear and exceeding  bright.   In  the

night, Ananda, in which a Tathagata attains to the supreme and perfect

insight,  and  in  the night in which he passes finally away  in  that

utter  passing  away  which leaves nothing  whatever  of  his  earthly

existence to remain.”                                               23

And the Blessed One addressed the venerable Ananda,  and said: “Now it may happen,  Ananda, that someone should stir up remorse in Chunda, the smith,  by saying:  ‘It is evil to thee, Chunda, and loss to thee, that  the  Tathagata  died,  having  eaten  his  last  meal  from  thy provision.’  Any such remorse, Ananda, in Chunda, the smith, should be checked by saying: ‘It is good to thee, Chunda, and gain to thee, that the  Tathagata died,  having eaten his last meal from  thy  provision.  From the very mouth of the Blessed One,  O Chunda,  have I heard, from his  own mouth have I received this saying,  “These two  offerings  of food are of equal fruit and of much greater profit than any other: the offerings  of  food  which a Tathagata accepts when  he  has  attained perfect  enlightenment  and when he passes away by the  utter  passing away in which nothing whatever of his earthly existence remains behind - these two offerings of food are of equal fruit and of equal  profit, and  of  much greater fruit and much greater profit  than  any  other.

There  has been laid up by Chunda,  the smith,  a karma redounding  to

length of life,  redounding to good birth, redounding to good fortune,

redounding to good fame,  redounding to the inheritance of heaven  and

of great power.”’  In this way,  Ananda should be checked any  remorse

in Chunda, the smith.”                                              24

Then the Blessed One, perceiving that death was near, uttered these

words:  “He  who  gives away shall have real  gain.   He  who  subdues

himself shall be free,  he shall cease to be a slave of passions.  The

righteous man casts off evil; and by rooting out lust, bitterness, and

illusion, do we reach Nirvana.”                                     25


The Blessed One proceeded with a great company of the brethren  to

the  sala  grove  of the Mallas,  the Upavattana of  Kusinara  on  the

further  side of the river Hirannyavati,  and when he had  arrived  he

addressed the venerale Ananda,  and said:  “Make ready for me,  I pray

you,  Ananda,  the couch with its head to the north,  between the twin

sala trees.  I am weary, Ananda, and wish to lie down.”              1

“Be it so,  Lord!” said the venerable Ananda, and he spread a couch

with  its head to the north,  between the twin sala  trees.   And  the

Blessed  One  laid  himself  down,   and  he  was  mindful  and  self-

possessed.                                                           2

Now,  at  that time the twin sala trees were full  of  bloom  with

flowers out of season;  and heavenly songs came wafted from the skies,

out of reverence for the successor of the Buddhas of old.   And Ananda

was  filled with wander that the Blessed One was thus  honoured.   But

the Blessed One said:  “Not by such events,  Ananda,  is the Tathagata

rightly honoured,  held sacred,  or revered.   But the brother or  the

sister,  the devout man or the devout woman,  who continually  fulfils

all the greater and lesser duties,  walking according to the precepts,

it is they who rightly honour,  hold sacred,  and revere the Tathagata

with the worthiest homage.  Therefore, O Ananda, be ye constant in the

fulfilment of the greater and of the lesser duties, and walk according

to the precepts; thus, Ananda, will ye honour the Master.”           3

Then the venerable Ananda went into the vihara,  and stood  leaning

against the doorpost,  weeping at the thought:  “Alas!  I remain still

but a learner,  one who has yet to work out his own  perfection.   And

the Master is about to pass away from me - he who is so kind!”       4

Now,  the Blessed One called the brethren,  and  said:  “Where,  O

brethren, is Ananda?”                                                5

And one of the brethren went and called Ananda.   And Ananda  came

and  said  to  the Blessed One:  “Deep darkness reigned  for  want  of

wisdom; the world of sentient creatures was groping for want of light,

then  the  Tathagata lit up the lamp of wisdom,  and now  it  will  be

extinguished again, ere he has brought it out.”                      6

And the Blessed One said to the venerable Ananda,  as he sat  there

by his side:                                                         7

“Enough,  Ananda!  Let not thy self be troubled; do not weep!  Have

I not already,  on former occasions,  told you that it is in the  very

nature of all things most near and dear unto us that we must  separate

from them and leave them?                                            8

“The foolish man conceives the idea of ‘self,’ the wise  man  sees

there is no ground on which to build the idea of ‘self,’ thus he has a

right  conception of the world and well concludes that  all  compounds

amassed by sorrow will be dissolved again, but the truth will remain.9

“Why should I preserve this body of flesh,  when the body  of  the

excellent  law will endure?   I am resolved;  having  accomplished  my

purpose and attended to the work set me, I look for rest!           10

“For  a  long time,  Ananda,  thou hast been very near  to  me  by

thoughts  and  acts  of such love as never varies and  is  beyond  all

measure.   Thou hast done well, Ananda!  Be earnest in effort and thou

too  shalt soon be free from the great evils,  from  sensuality,  from

selfishness, from delusion and from ignorance!”                     11

And Ananda,  suppressing his tears,  said to the Blessed One:  “Who

shall teach us when thou art gone?”                                 12

And the Blessed One replied:  “I am not the first Buddha who  came

upon earth,  nor shall I be the last.  In due time another Buddha will

arise in the world,  a Holy One,  a supremely enlightened One, endowed

with  wisdom  in  conduct,   auspicious,   knowing  the  universe,  an

incomparable leader of men,  a master of angels and mortals.   He will

reveal  to you the same eteranl truths which I have  taught  you.   He

will  preach his religion,  glorious in its origin,  glorious  at  the

climax, and glorious at the goal, in the spirit and in the letter.  He

will proclaim a religous life,  wholly perfect and pure; such as I now

proclaim.”                                                          13

   Ananda said: “How shall we know him?”                            14

The Blessed One said:  “He will be known as Metteyya,  which  means

‘he whose name is kindness.’”                                       15


Then the Mallas, with their young men and maindens and their wives,

being  grieved,   and  sad,  and  afflicted  at  heart,  went  to  the

Upavattana,  the sala grove of the Mallas,  and wanted to the  Blessed

One, in order to partake of the bliss that devolves upon those who are

in the presence of the Holy One.                                     1

   And the Blessed One addressed them and said:                      2

“Seeking  the  way,  ye  must exert  yourselves  and  strive  with

diligence.   It  is  not  enough to have seen  me!   Walk  as  I  have

commanded you;  free yourselves from the tangled net of sorrow.   Walk

in the path with steadfast aim.                                      3

“A sick man may be cured by the healing power of medicine and  will

be rid of all his ailments without beholding the physician.          4

“He who does not do what I command sees me in vain.  This brings no

profit.   Whilst  he who lives far off from where I am and  yet  walks

righteously is ever near me.                                         5

“A man may dwell beside me, and yet, being disobedient, be far away

from me.   Yet he who obeys the Dharma will always enjoy the bliss  of

the Tathagata’s presence.”                                           6

Then the mendicant Subhadda went to the sala grove of  the  Mallas

and said to the venerable Ananda:  “I have heard from fello mendicants

of  mine,  who  were  deep stricken in years  and  teachers  of  great

experience:  ‘Sometimes  and full seldom do Tathagatas appear  in  the

world,  the  holy  Buddhas.’  Now it is said that to-day in  the  last

watch of the night,  the final passing away of the samana Gotama  will

take place.   My mind is full of uncertainty,  yet I have faith in the

samana Gotama and trust he will be able so to present the truth that I

may  become  rid of my doubts,  O that I might be allowed to  see  the

samana Gotama!”                                                      7

When he had thus spoken the venerable Ananda said to the  mendicant

Subhadda:  “Enough!  friend Subhadda.  Trouble not the Tathagata.  The

Blessed One is weary.”                                               8

Now the Blessed One overheard this conversation of  the  venerable Ananda  with the mendicant Subhadda.   And the Blessed One called  the venerable  Ananda,  and  said:  “Ananda!   Do not keep  out  Subhadda.

Subhadda may be allowed to see the Tathagata.   Whatever Subhadda will

ask of me,  he will ask from a desire for knowledge,  and not to annoy

me,  and whatever I may say in answer to his questions,  that he  will

quickly understand.”                                                 9

Then the venerable Ananda said to Subhadda the mendicant: “Step in,

friend Subhadda; for the Blessed One gives thee leave.”             10

When  the Blessed One had instructed  Subhadda,  and  aroused  and

gladdened him with words of wisdom and comfort,  Subhadda said to  the

Blessed One:                                                        11

“Glorious Lord, glorious Lord!  Most excellent are the words of thy

mouth,  most excellent!   They set up that which has been  overturned,

they reveal that which has been hidden.  They point out the right road

to  the  wanderer who has gone astray.   They bring a  lamp  into  the

darkness so that those who have eyes to see can see.   Thus, Lord, the

truth  has been made known to me by the Blessed One and I take  refuge

in the Blessed One,  in the Truth,  and in the Order.  May the Blessed

One accept me as a disciple and true believer,  from this day forth as

long as life endures.”                                              12

And Subhadda,  the mendicant,  said to the venerable Ananda: “Great

is thy gain,  friend Ananda,  great is thy good fortune,  that for  so

many   years  thou  hast  been  sprinkled  with  the   sprinkling   of

discipleship   in  this  brotherhood  at  the  hands  of  the   Master

himself!”                                                           13

Now the Blessed One addressed the venerable Ananda,  and said:  “It may be,  Ananda,  that in some of you the thought may arise, ‘The word of the Master is ended, we have no teacher more!’  But it is not thus, Ananda,  that you should regard it.   It is true that no more shall  I receive  a body.  for all future sorrow has now forever  passed  away.

But though this body will be dissolved,  the Tathagata  remains.   The

truth and the rules of the order which I have set forth and laid  down

for you all, let them, after I am gone, be a teacher unto you.  When I

am gone,  Ananda, let the order, if it should so wish, abolish all the

lesser and minor precepts.”                                         14

The the Blessed One addressed the brethren, and said: “There may be

some doubt or misgiving in the mind of a brother as to the Buddha,  or

the truth, or the path.  Do not have to reproach yourselves afterwards

with the thought,  ‘We did not inquire of the Blessed One when we were

face to face with him.’  Therefore inquire now,  O  brethren,  inquire

freely.”                                                            15

   And the brethren remained silent.                                16

Then  the venerable Ananda said to the  Blessed  One:  “Verily,  I

believe  that in this whole assembly of the brethren there is not  one

brother who has any doubt or misgiving as to the Buddha, or the truth,

or the path!”                                                       17

Said the Blessed One: “It is out of the fullness of faith that thou

hast spoken,  Ananda!   But,  Ananda,  the Tathagata knows for certain

that  in this whole assembly of the brethren there is not one  brother

who has any doubt or misgiving as to the Budda,  or the truth,  or the

path!   For even the most backward,  Ananda, of all these brethren has

become converted, and is assured of final salvation.”               18

Then the Blessed One addressed the brethren and said:  “If ye  now

know  the  Dharma,  the  cause  of all  suffering,  and  the  path  of

salvation,  O disciples, will ye then say: “We respect the Master, and

out of reverence for the Master do we thus speak?’”                 19

   The brethren replied: “That we shall not, O Lord.”               20

   And the Holy One continued:                                      21

“Of those beings who live in ignorance, shut up and confined, as it were,  in an egg,  I have first broken the egg-shell of ignorance  and alone in the universe obtained the most exalted, universal Buddhahood.

Thus, O disciples, I am the eldest, the noblest of beings.          22

“But what ye speak,  O disciples, is it not even that which ye have

yourselves know, yourselves seen, yourselves realised?”             23

   Ananda and the brethren said: “It is, O Lord.”                   24

Once more the Blessed One began to speak:  “Behold now,  brethren,”

said he,  “I exhort you,  saying,  ‘Decay is inherent in all component

things,  but the truth will remain forever!’  Work out your  salvation

with  diligence!” This was the last word of the Tathagata.   Then  the

Tathagata fell into a deep meditation,  and having passed through  the

four jhanas, entered Nirvana.                                       25

When the Blessed One entered Nirvana there arose,  at his  passing

out of existence, a mighty earthquake, terrible and awe-inspiring: and

the thunders of heaven burst forth, and those of the brethren who were

not yet free from passions some stretched out their arms and wept, and

some fell headlong on the ground, in anguish at the thought: “Too soon

has  the Blessed One passed away from exhistence!   Too soon  has  the

light of the world gone out!”                                       26

Then  the  venerable Anuruddha exhorted  the  brethren  and  said:

“Enough,  my brethren!  Weep not, neither lament!  Has not the Blessed One formerly declared this to us, that it is in the very nature of all things near and dear unto us,  that we must separate from them,  since everything that is born,  brought into being,  and organized, contains within itself the inherent necessity of dissolution?   How then can it be  possible that the body of the Tathagata should not  be  dissolved?

No  such condition can exist!   Those who are free from  passion  will

bear the loss,  calm and self-possessed,  mindful of the truth he  has

taught us.”                                                         27

And the venerable Anuruddha and the venerable Ananda spent the rest

of the night in religious discourse.                                28

Then the venerable Anuruddha said to the venerable Ananda: “Go now,

brother Ananda,  and inform the Mallas of Kusinara saying,’The Blessed

One has passed away: do, then, whatsoever seemeth to you fit!’”     29

And when the Mallas had heard this saying they were  grieved,  and

sad, and afflicted at heart.                                        30

Then  the  Mallas of Kusinara gave  orders  to  their  attendants,

saying,  “Gather together perfumes and garlands,  and all the music in

Kusinara!”  And the Mallas of Kusinara took the perfumes and garlands,

and all the musical instruments,  and five hundred garments,  and went

to the sala grove where the body of the Blessed One lay.   There  they

passed  the day in paying honour and reverence to the remains  of  the

Blessed One,  with hymns,  and music,  and with garlands and perfumes,

and  in making canopies of their garments,  and  preparing  decorative

wreaths to hang thereon.   And they burned the remains of the  Blessed

One as they would do to the body of a king of kings.                31

When  the funeral pyre was lit,  the sun and moon  withdrew  their

shining,  the peaceful streams on every side were torrent-swollen, the

earth quaked,  and the sturdy forests shook like aspen leaves,  whilst

flowers and leaves fell untimely to the ground,  like scattered  rain,

so  that  all Kusinara became strewn knee-deep  with  mandara  flowers

raining down from heaven.                                           32

When  the  burning ceremonies were over,  Devaputta  said  to  the

multitudes that were assembled round the pyre:                      33

“Behold,  O brethren,  the earthly remains of the Blessed One  have

been  dissolved,  but  the truth which he has taught us lives  in  our

minds and cleanses us from all error.                               34

“Let us, then, go out into the world, as compassionate and merciful

as  our great masterm and preach to all living beings the  four  noble

truths  and the eightfold path of righteousness,  so that all  mankind

may  attain to a final salvation,  taking refuge in  the  Buddha,  the

Dharma, and the Sangha.”                                            35

And when the Blessed One had entered into Nirvana,  and the  Mallas

had burned the body with such ceremonies as would indicate that he was

the great king of kings, ambassadors came from all the empires that at

the  time had embraced his doctrine,  to claim a share of the  relics;

and  the relics were divided into eight parts and eight  dagobas  were

erected for their preservation.   One dagoba was erected by the Mallas

and seven others by the seven kings of those countries,  whose  people

had taken refuge in the Buddha.                                     36