advised Cunda to serve him only with the sukaramaddava that
he had prepared. The other food that Cunda had prepared could
be served to the other monks. After the meals were served
Buddha told Cunda, "Cunda, if any sukaramaddava is left
over, bury it in a hole. I do not see anyone in the world
other than the Blessed One who could digest the food if he
"So be it, Lord," Cunda replied, and buried the leftovers in
the ground. He went to the Buddha and, after paying homage
to him, sat down at one side. Then the Buddha taught him the
Dharma. The Buddha also praised Cunda for the meal that had
refreshed and strengthened him after his journey. But soon
after this, the Buddha suffered from an attack of the dysentery
he had been suffering from earlier and sharp pains came upon
him. By an effort of will he was able to bear the pain. Though
extremely weak the Buddha decided to continue on immediately
to Kusinaga, a little more than six miles away. After a painful
struggle, he reached a grove of sala trees just outside the
took his last bath in the Kakuttha river. After resting a
while, he said, "Now it may happen that some people may
make Cunda regret having given me the meal that made me sick.
Ananda, if this should happen, you should tell Cunda that you
have heard directly from the Buddha that it was a gain for
him. Tell him that two offerings to the Buddha are of equal
gain; the offering of food just before his supreme enlightenment
and the offering of food just before he passes away. This
is the final birth of the Buddha."
said, "Ananda, please make a couch ready for me with
its head to the North between two big sala trees. I am tired
and I want to lie down."
that occasion, those two sala trees were covered with blossoms
through the influence of the devas, though it was not the
season. They scattered and sprinkled the Buddha with the falling
blossoms, as though out of respect for him. Then the Buddha
said to Venerable Ananda, "Ananda, the two big sala trees
are scattering flowers on me as though they are paying their
respects to me. But this is not how I should be respected
and honoured. Rather, it is the monks or nuns, or the men
or woman lay followers, who live according to my teaching,
that should respect and honour me."
while later it was noticed that Venerable Ananda was nowhere
to be seen. He had gone inside a hut and stood leaning against
the door bar, weeping. He 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!"
Buddha, sending for Ananda, said to him, "Enough now,
Ananda! Do not sorrow and cry. Have I not already repeatedly
told you that there is separation and parting from all that
is dear and beloved? How is it possible that anything that
has been born, has had a beginning, should not again die?
Such a thing is not possible.
you have served me with your acts of loving-kindness, helpfully,
gladly, sincerely, and so too in your words and your thoughts.
You have gained merit, Ananda. Keep on trying and you will
soon be free of all your human weaknesses. In a very short
time you too will become an arahant.
you can go, Ananda. But go into Kusinaga and tell all the
people that tonight, in the last watch of the night, the Buddha
will pass away into nirvana. Come and see the Buddha before
he passes away."
Ananda, taking with him another monk, did as the Buddha bid
him and went to Kusinaga to tell the people. When they heard
the news, they were much grieved. And all the people of Kusinaga,
men, women and children came to the two big sala trees to
bid a last farewell to the Buddha. Family by family, they
bowed low down before him and so bade him farewell.
are four places for faithful followers to see their inspiration.
These are four holy places made sacred by their association
with the Buddha. They are:
Buddha's birth place (Lumbini)
2. The place where the Buddha attained enlightenment (Bodh
3. The place where the Buddha gave his first teachings and
set in motion the Wheel of the Dharma or Truth (Sarnath)
4. The place where the Buddha attained parinibbana, or final