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Pra_04.JPG (10096 bytes) In the forty-fifth year after His Enlightenment, the Buddha was spending the Rain Retreat period at the village of Veluva, in the town of Vesa.gif (845 bytes)li.gif (57 bytes). During this period He was taken ill with acute suffering, but managed to subdue it by virtue of the power of His Mindfulness, thereby regularly delivering the sermons despite the pain. This went on until the third winter month when, while going on His almsround to the city Vesa.gif (845 bytes)li.gif (57 bytes), He asked Venerable Ananda to follow Him carrying a seat-cloth. Upon arrival at a place called Pa.gif (845 bytes)va.gif (845 bytes)laceti.gif (57 bytes)ya, He seated Himself (on that seat-cloth) under the shade of a tree.

Here He implicitly told aa.gif (75 bytes)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 aa.gif (75 bytes)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 Vesa.gif (845 bytes)li.gif (57 bytes), He stayed for a time at Ku.gif (65 bytes)ta.gif (845 bytes)ga.gif (845 bytes)rasa.gif (845 bytes)la.gif (845 bytes), in the Maha.gif (845 bytes)vana Grove. Thereafter He proceeded to the villages of Bhandu, Hatthi.gif (55 bytes), Amba and Jambu respectively. Entering the town of Bhoga in the State of Malla, He sought lodging at aa.gif (75 bytes)nandaceti.gif (57 bytes)ya, where He prescribed four Maha.gif (845 bytes)padesa i.e. 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 Vesa.gif (845 bytes)kha 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 aa.gif (75 bytes)nanda arrived in the town of Pa.gif (845 bytes)va.gif (845 bytes) 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 Vesa.gif (845 bytes)kha 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 'su.gif (65 bytes)karamaddava', (a kind of mushroom) the other dishes being given to other Bhikkhus who accompanied Him.

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