Here He implicitly told nanda of His impending passing away. For three times did He do so, in order that the Venerable might exhort Him to desist from the purpose and to live on through the Kappa. But for three times was nanda somehow totally oblivious to the Buddha's suggestive information. As such he did nothing the Buddha expected him to do. When some moments after that the Buddha was sitting alone, He made up His mind to pass away three months thenceforward. This was His resolution to leave the physical body once for all.
|From that day
onwards the Buddha took pains to instruct the Bhikkhus in a variety of ways.
Before leaving Vesl, He stayed for a time at Ktgrasl, in the Mahvana Grove. Thereafter He proceeded to the villages
of Bhandu, Hatth,
Amba and Jambu respectively. Entering the town of Bhoga in the State of
Malla, He sought lodging at nandacetya, where He prescribed four
criteria by which to judge His teachings, which should be applied later on
to decide whether any teaching should belong to Him or not. This was how the
Buddha managed to endure the pain and suffering of His illness, not
neglecting to sow the seeds of His Dhamma for those who were receptive to
His teachings. This while on His long and painful journey which He knew
would be His final one.
It was now the fourteenth day of the waxing moon in the Veskha month with only one day left before the completion of the three-month period the Buddha had fixed for His passing away, the Buddha and Venerable nanda arrived in the town of Pv and proceeded to stay in the mango grove of Cunda, son of a goldsmith. Here He delivered a sermon to Cunda and his family. On the following day, which was the fullmoon day of Veskha month, the Buddha went to partake of the meal, which was to be His last one, at Cunda's home. He accepted only the dish that was prepared with what was called 'skaramaddava', (a kind of mushroom) the other dishes being given to other Bhikkhus who accompanied Him.
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