by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw | 1990 | 1,044,401 words
This page describes The Malla Princes pay their Last Respects to the Buddha contained within the book called the Great Chronicle of Buddhas (maha-buddha-vamsa), a large compilation of stories revolving around the Buddhas and Buddhist disciples. This page is part of the series known as the Buddha Declared the Seven Factors of Non-Decline for Rulers. This great chronicle of Buddhas was compiled by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw who had a thorough understanding of the thousands and thousands of Buddhist teachings (suttas).
The Venerable Ānanda went up to them and announced, as detailed by the Buddha:
“O Vāseṭṭhas, tonight, in the third watch of the night, the Parinibbāna of the Tathāgata will take place. Come, Vāseṭṭhas, come! Do not let yourselves regret later with the thought: ‘The Tathāgata passed away in our territory, and yet we failed to take the opportunity of paying our respect at His last hour.”
On hearing the message brought by the Venerable Ānanda, the Malla princes, their sons and daughters, their daughters-in-law, and their wives were grief-stricken and sick at heart, and wailed, their hair dishevelled, their arms upraised; they flung themselves down, rolling (on the floor) in all directions, all the while lamenting: “All too soon is the Bhagava going to realize Parinibbāna! All too soon is the Well-spoken One going to realize Parinibbāna! All too soon is the Possessor of the Eye of Wisdom going to vanish from the world!”
Then the Malla princes, their sons and daughters, their daughters-in-law and their wives were grief-stricken and sick at heart, and they went to the Sal grove where they approached the Venerable Ānanda.
Then it occurred to Venerable Ānanda thus:
“If I were to let the Mallas of Kusināra pay homage to the Bhagavā one by one, the night will have passed into dawn before all of them had finished. It would be well if I should group them together in families and cause them, family-wise, to pay homage to the Bhagavā, by announcing: ‘Venerable Sir, the Malla prince named such and such with children, wife, ministers and retinue, pays homage at the feet of the Bhagavā.’ ”
Accordingly, he grouped the Mallas of Kusināra in families and caused them family-wise, to pay homage to the Buddha, announcing: “Venerable Sir, the Malla prince named such and such, with children, wife, ministers, and retinue, pays homage at the feet of the Bhagavā,” thus finishing the whole event even before the end of the first watch of the night.