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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 Hirannavati, and when he had arrived he

addressed the venerable 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 be down."

"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


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 wonder that the Blessed One was thus

honored. But the Blessed One said: "Not by such events, Ananda,

is the Tathagata rightly honored, held sacred, or revered. But

the brother or the sister, the devout man or the devout woman,

who continually fulfils all the greater and the lesser duties,

walking according to the precepts, it is they who rightly honor,

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 honor the Master."

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!"

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

brethren, is Ananda?"

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."

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?

"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.

"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!

"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!"1

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

shall teach us when thou art gone?"

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 eternal 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 religious life, wholly

perfect and pure; such as I now proclaim."

Ananda said: "How shall we know him?"

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

'he whose name is kindness.'"