A Sketch of the Buddha's Life

Readings from the Pali Canon

13,055 words

This modest selection of excerpts from the Pali Canon provides a rough sketch of the life of the Buddha. I hope you will find enough in this rather sparse selection to gain at least an inkling both of the range of the Buddhas teachings and of the sweeping trajectory of his extraordinary life....

Thousands Lament The Imminent Passing

Of The Buddha

Now at that time the Mallas had gathered in the council hall for some public business. And the Venerable Ananda approached them and announced: "Today, Vasetthas, in the last watch of the night, the Tathagata"s Parinibbana will take place. Approach, Vasetthas, draw near! Do not be remorseful later at the thought: In our township it was that the Tathagata"s Parinibbana took place, but we failed to see him at the end."

When they heard the Venerable Ananda speak these words, the Mallas with their sons, their wives, and the wives of their sons, were sorely grieved, grieved at heart and afflicted; and some, with their hair all disheveled, with arms uplifted in despair, wept; flinging themselves on the ground, they rolled from side to side, lamenting: "Too soon has the Blessed One come to his Parinibbana! Too soon has the Happy One come to his Parinibbana! Too soon will the Eye of the World vanish from sight!"

And thus afflicted and filled with grief, the Mallas, with their sons, their wives, and the wives of their sons, went to the Sala Grove, the recreation park of the Mallas, to the place where the Venerable Ananda was.

[DN 16]

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