A man named Pukkasa of the Malla clan, a disciple of Arada Kalam, the first Guru in the life of Gautam Buddha, came to him. In the course of the interview, the Buddha told him about a deeper state of meditation than his master’s, so he at once begged to the Lord Buddha to accept him as his disciple and offered him a pair of gold shawls.
The Buddha accepted the gift but asked Pukkasa to give one to him and other to Ananda. When Pukkasa left , Ananda covered the body with both shawls and observed that their gold seemed faint compared to the radiance of the Buddha’s body. The Buddha told Ananda that the Enlightened one gains a special radiance on two occasions:
- When he attains Nirvana
- and when he attains parinirvana
so the time came on the last watch of that night at Kusinara to attain parinirvana.
Lord Buddha walked with Ananda, Chunda and several other monks to the river Kakudha, where he bathed in the river and drank. Walking to a mango grove, he lay down. He instructed Ananda and Chunda might feel remorseful, thinking that the Mahatma Buddha passed away because of his food.
He said that it should be pointed out to Chunda that two meals offered to the Lord Buddha are of special merit: that one offered to him before he attain Nirvana, and the other offered to him before attaining Parinirvana; and the Chunda should therefore be happy for the great fortune of serving the Buddha’s last meal. Then Lord Buddha accompanied by his monks, came finally to the sale grove of Kusinara, the last destination of his earthly journey. Then he spoke to Ananda:
Prepare me a bed with its head to the north between the twin sala trees. I am tired and I wish to lie down.
Ananda did so, and the Buddha lay down completely self possessed. The twin sala trees were in full bloom out of the season, and flower gently fell in reverence on the Buddha’s body. Divine flowers and sandalwood powder dropped from the sky and the atmosphere resounded with divine music. Then the Exalted one addressed Ananda:
Although Ananda, all these offerings are made in honour of the Tathagata, it is not thus that the Tathagata is rightly honoured, venerated, revered and worshipped. If monks, nuns, and lay disciples were to live in accordance with my teaching, they would be honouring me and venerating me rightly, and paying me true respect and true reverence. Therefore, Ananda, you should act accordingly to my teaching, following all the instructions, and it should be so taught to others. This would be the highest worship, which would please me most.
Ananda asked how matters should be handled when the Buddha would not be there for guidance. Ananda then went to a nearby cottage, place for communal ceremonies, his mind filled with the dreadful though of the impending event. Here he stood leaning against the door lintel, weeping and feeling deserted by his master, even before the event had occurred. Lord Buddha called Ananda to console him, pointing out that all things must change and that meeting and parting are inevitable int this world. He said Ananda had no reason to grieve, as he had wholeheartedly served Mahatma Buddha for long time in thoughts, word and deed, with unbounded love. He exhorted Ananda to continue to strive for enlightenment, and assured him that he would soon be free from all impurities. Check here for life and teachings of Gautam Buddha. And Ananda’s question to Lord Buddha on Refuge.
He explained Ananda wonderful qualities to other monks. Ananda then tried to point out to Lord Buddha that Kusinara was an insignificant place for a blessed one to pass away, and he should instead think of an important city as the place of his passage. Mahatma Buddha Said that Kusinara once had been a renowned city and the capital of the great King Mahasudarshana.
Ananda did however obtain the Buddha’s consent to inform the people of Kusinara about his impending parinirvana so that they might not later repent for being denied a last glimpse. Ananda went to Kusinara and found the Malla prince and other gentry assembled. They rushed to the Sala grove in great grief, and were fortunate enough to obtain their last sight of the Bhagwan Buddha during the first watch of that night.
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