The Final Days And Death Of The Buddha

by TheBuddhasFace - Date: 2010-09-30 - Word Count: 549 Share This!

After he reached enlightenment under the Bodhi tree Siddhartha Gautama carried on preaching his message of love and compassion for just over fifty more years and in that time he was re-united and converted his close family.

He had instructed that on his death that no-one should take over as leader of the Buddhist movement - and instead his disciples should take his instructions as their spiritual guide to spread the Buddha's message to the world. He had just reached 80 years after a very full life setting up monasteries and providing his unique inspiration and promotion of the Sangha that he had a premonition and suddenly began to feel his age and felt that the end of his life was approaching .

His last few months of life saw the Buddha despondent and a sense of failure-the world in which he had spent a lifetime spreading his teachings was descending into war. A new king of Kosala, Vidudabha, was threatening the Buddha's homeland and the Buddha was unable to stop the massacre that ensued, with the royal army being ordered to kill every Shakyancame across. (Buddha was a Shakyan). So it was despondent and sick Buddha that headed off fro home in Kapilavastu, with less than 10 monks And he stopped over at the town of Pavi, around 100 km from his home, instead of the staying in the homes of the rich and mighty, he ended up at the home of a blacksmith named Cunda.

After eating his last meal - which was thought to be pork. He soon became violently sick and so went to bathe in the river and after this rest on the water's edge whilst lying on a bed made of rope which had been attached between two trees. It is said he reposed on his right side with his right hand load-bearing his head. This is the origin of this position in the depictions of Buddha images, statues and sculptures that we are conversant with today. The position is now described as the Buddha's nirvana.

The saddened monks kept watch over a grievously ill Buddha and they knew he was dying. One of his last actions was to speak with a Brahman scholar called Subhadda who as a result of this meeting was to become the last convert of the Buddha. At the point of death the Buddha's exhorted his followers to not feel sad that he was departing the world and thus he spoke hi final words "Do not say we have no leader now. The words I have spoken shall be your master now when I have gone. Listen, I exhort you:

"Behold, O monks, this is my last advice to you. All connected things in the world are mutable. They are temporary. Work with diligence in order to gain your own redemption."

On speaking these final words, the Buddha went into an ecstatic coma and then according to Buddhist teachings he finally entered nirvana and broke the cycle of birth and rebirth.

He died in 483 BC in May when it was a full moon and this day is celebrated annually by Buddhist around the world. . The Buddha's body was burnt and so this then by practice became the traditional Buddhist way of burial.

Neither fire nor wind, birth nor death can erase our good deeds.
The Buddha

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