The final Days

When Buddha was eighty years old he thought to himself, "I have done all I could to help others. I have taught them how to live with love and how not to fear anything in life. Now it is time to show them how to leave this world without fear."

So he called the faithfull Ananda to him and said "Ananda, it is time for us to return to Kapilavastu for the last time. I wish do die in the city where I grew up." Ananda was grief stricken. "Oh, Buddha," he cried, "please do not leave us ! For so many years you have been our guide. What shall we do without you ?" Then he began to sob bitterly.

Buddha answered, "do not cry, dear Ananda. I have always taught that the death is a natural part of life. It is nothing to fear. You must understand that. And when I am gone, let my teachings be your guide. If you have understood them in your heart, you have no more need of me. Come, let us go."

And so Buddha and his disciples traveled toward to the North. Kapilavastu was not so far from the place that they lived. Buddha and his followers started their strip. During the strip, they passed through the village of Kushinagar. Buddha asked his students to stop there and rest. Then he returned to Ananda and said, "this is a place where I shall pass away."

Although this was to be the last day of his life, Buddha did not stop helping others. An old man from the village asked to see him, and Buddha agreed. He listened to the man's problems and gave him kind words of advice. The man was put at ease and felt happy once again. Then Buddha went out into the garden and lay down between two trees. His students gathered around him. Some were crying, but others, their minds completely at peace, looked on silently.

Then Buddha spoke for the last time. "Remember ! what I have taught you. Craving and desire are the cause of all unhappiness. Everything sooner or later must change, so do not become attached to anything. Instead of this, you devote yourself to clearing your mind and finding true, lasting happiness."

Buddha then turned onto his right side and placed his right hand under his head. He closed his eyes and very peacefully passed away. It was the full moon day of the fourth month.