Now the Blessed One thought: "To whom shall I preach the doctrine
first? My old teachers are dead. They would have received the
good news with joy. But my five disciples are still alive. I
shall go to them, and to them shall I first proclaim the gospel
At that time the five bhikkhus dwelt in the Deer Park at Benares,
and the Blessed One rose and journeyed to their abode, not
thinking of their unkindness in having left him at a time when he
was most in need of their sympathy and help, but mindful only of
the services which they had ministered unto him, and pitying them
for the austerities which they practised in vain.
Upaka, a young Brahman and a Jain, a former acquaintance of
Siddhattha, saw the Blessed One while he journeyed to Benares,
and, amazed at the majesty and sublime joyfulness of his
appearance, said: "Thy countenance, friend, is serene; thine eyes
are bright and indicate purity and blessedness."
The holy Buddha replied: "I have obtained deliverance by the
extinction of self. My body is chastened, my mind is free from
desire, and the deepest truth has taken abode in my heart. I have
obtained Nirvana, and this is the reason that my countenance is
serene and my eyes are bright. I now desire to found the kingdom
of truth upon earth, to give light to those who are enshrouded in
darkness and to open the gate of deathlessness."
Upaka replied: "Thou professest then, friend, to be Jina, the
conqueror of the world, the absolute one and the holy one."
The Blessed One said: "Jinas are all those who have conquered
self and the passions of self, those alone are victors who
control their minds and abstain from evil. Therefore, Upaka, I am
Upaka shook his head. "Venerable Gotama," he said, "thy way lies
yonder," and taking another road, he went away.
Next: The Sermon At Benares
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