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Friday, May 8, 2009

Wesak 2009 special : Conqueror's last days

Conqueror's last days

And the Blessed One entered the first jhana. Rising from the first jhana, he entered the second jhana. Rising from the second jhana, he entered the third jhana. Rising from the third jhana, he entered the fourth jhana. And rising out of the fourth jhana, he entered the sphere of infinite space. Rising from the attainment of the sphere of infinite space, he entered the sphere of infinite consciousness.

Rising from the attainment of the sphere of infinite consciousness, he entered the sphere of nothingness. Rising from the attainment of the sphere of nothingness, he entered the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception. And rising out of the attainment of the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, he attained to the cessation of perception and feeling.

And the Venerable Ananda spoke to the Venerable Anuruddha, saying: "Venerable Anuruddha, the Blessed One has passed away."

"No, friend Ananda, the Blessed One has not passed away. He has entered the state of the cessation of perception and feeling."

Then the Blessed One, rising from the cessation of perception and feeling, entered the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.

Rising from the attainment of the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, he entered the sphere of nothingness. Rising from the attainment of the sphere of nothingness, he entered the sphere of infinite consciousness.

Rising from the attainment of the sphere of infinite consciousness, he entered the sphere of infinite space. Rising from the attainment of the sphere of infinite space, he entered the fourth jhana.

Rising from the fourth jhana, he entered the third jhana. Rising from the third jhana, he entered the second jhana. Rising from the second jhana, he entered the first jhana.

Rising from the first jhana, he entered the second jhana. Rising from the second jhana, he entered the third jhana. Rising from the third jhana, he entered the fourth jhana. And, rising from the fourth jhana, the Blessed One immediately passed away.

And when the Blessed One had passed away, simultaneously with his Parinibbana there came a tremendous earthquake, dreadful and astounding, and the thunders rolled across the heavens.

And when the Blessed One had passed away, simultaneously with his Parinibbana, Brahma Sahampati spoke this stanza:

All must depart - all beings that have life

Must shed their compound forms. Yea, even one,

A Master such as he, a peerless being,

Powerful in wisdom, the Enlightened One, has passed away.

And when the Blessed One had passed away, simultaneously with his Parinibbana, Sakka, king of the gods, spoke this stanza:

Transient are all compounded things,

Subject to arise and vanish;

Having come into existence they pass away;

Good is the peace when they forever cease.

And when the Blessed One had passed away,

simultaneously with his Parinibbana,

the Venerable Anuruddha spoke this stanza:

No movement of the breath, but with steadfast heart,

Free from desires and tranquil - so the sage

Comes to his end. By mortal pangs unshaken,

His mind, like a flame extinguished, finds release.

And when the Blessed One had passed away, simultaneously with his Parinibbana, the Venerable Ananda spoke this stanza:

Then there was terror, and the hair stood up, when he,

The All-accomplished One, the Buddha, passed away.

Translated from Pali by Sister Vajira and Francis Story Maha Parinibbana Sutta

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