Lord Buddha's Final Moments and Words
Then the Lord addressed the monks, saying: ‘It maybe, monks, that some monk has doubt or uncertainty about the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha, or about the path or the practice. Ask, monks! Do not afterwards feel remorse, thinking: “The Teacher was there before us, and we failed to ask the Lord face to face!:’ At these words the monks were silent. The Lord repeated his words a second and a third time, and still the monks were silent. Then the Lord said: ‘Perhaps, monks, you do not ask out of respect for the Teacher. Then, monks, let one friend tell it to another.’ But still they were silent.
And the Venerable Ananda said: ‘It is wonderful, Lord, it is marvelous! I clearly perceive that in this assembly there is not one monk who has doubts or uncertainty…’ ‘You, Ananda, speak from faith. But the Tathagata knows that in this assembly there is not one monk who has doubts or uncertainty about the Buddha, the Dhamma or the Sangha or about the path or the practice. Ananda, the least one of these five hundred monks is a Stream-Winner, incapable of falling into states of woe, certain of Nibbana.’
Then the Lord said to the monks: ‘Now, monks, I declare to you: all conditioned things are of a nature to decay – strive on untiringly.’ These were the Tathagata’s last words.
Then the Lord entered the first jhana. And leaving he entered the second, the third, the fourth jhana. Then leaving the fourth jhana he entered the Sphere of Infinite Space, then the Sphere of Infinite Consciousness, then the Sphere of No-Thingness, then the Sphere of Neither-Perception-Nor-Non-Perception, and leaving that he attained the Cessation of Feeling and Perception.
Then the Venerable Ananda said to the Venerable Anuruddha: ‘Venerable Anuruddha, the Lord has passed away.’ ‘No, friend Ananda, the Lord has not passed away, he has attained the Cessation of Feeling and Perception.’
Then the Lord, leaving the attainment of the Cessation of Feeling and Perception entered the Sphere of Neither-Perception-Nor-Perception, from that he entered the Sphere of No-Thingness, the Sphere of Infinite Consciousness, the Sphere of Infinite Space. From the Sphere of Infinite Space, he entered the fourth jhana, from there the third, the second and the first jhana. Leaving the first jhana, he entered the second, the third, the fourth jhana. And, leaving the fourth jhana, the Lord finally passed away.
And at the Blessed Lord’s final passing there was a great earthquake, terrible and hair-raising, accompanied by thunder. And Brahma Sahampati uttered this verse:
‘All beings in the world, all bodies must break up:
Even the Teacher, peerless in the human world,
And Sakka, ruler of the devas, uttered this verse:
‘Impermanent are compounded things, prone to rise and fall,
And the Venerable Anuruddha uttered this verse:
‘No breathing in and out – just with steadfast heart
And the Venerable Ananda uttered this verse:
‘Terrible was the quaking, men’s hair stood on end,
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