Buddham Sharanam Gachami,
Dhamam Sharanam Gachami,
Sangham Sharanam Gachami
Gautama was staying at the time in a hermitage on the Elephant Rock near Gaya. Beyond lay the verdant and delightful valley of Rajgir. One evening Gautama and his new disciples were sitting on a promotory; they saw a vast flame rise from the hill opposite. The forest was on fire. The conflagration spread with a lightning rapidity till the whole earth, the horizon, and the sky itself seemed to be devoured by flames. Recognized in the flame an image embodying a deep symbolic truth. He took up the theme-'Bhikkhus,'the Buddha began,'everything is burning.' The senses and everything that they feed upon in the external world, the body, the mind and the emotions were all ablaze.What caused this conflagration?
Everything, O monks, is in flames. And what everything is in flames?The eye is in flames.The visible is in flames;the knowledge of the visible is in flames;the feeling which arises from contact with the visible,be it pleasure, be it pain,be it neither pleasure nor pain,this is also is in flames.By what fire is it kindled?By the fire of desire, by the fire of hate, by the fire of fascination,it is kindled;by birth,old age,death,pain,lamentation,sorrow,grief,distress,it is kindled...This I say...Knowing this,O monks,one who is wise becomes weary of the eye, he becomes weary of the visible,he becomes weary of the knowledge of the visible,he becomes weary of the feeling which arises from contact with the visible,be it pleasure,be it pain,be it neither pleasure nor pain...This I say...
A bhikkhu must,therefore,become dispassionate.The art of mindfulness would teach him to become detached from his five khanda and douse the flames.Then he would experience the liberation and peace of Nirvana.
Lord Buddha:O Ananda, i am now grown old, and full of years, my journey is drawing near to its close. I am turning eighty years of age. Therefore, O Ananda, be ye lamps unto yourselves. Be ye a refuge to yourselves. Betake yourselves to no external refuge. Hold fast to the truth as a lamp. Hold fast as a refuge to the truth. Look not for refuge to any one besides yourselves...And whosoever, Ananda, either now or after I am dead, shall be a lamp unto themselves, and a refuge unto themselves, shall betake themselves to no external refuge, but holding fast to the truth as their lamp, and holding fast as their refuge to the truth, shall look not for refuge to any one besides themselves-it is they, Ananda, among my bhikhus who shall reach the very topmost height-but they must be anxious to learn.
Each of you must make himself his island, make himself and no one else his refuge.
No Buddhist could depend upon another person and need one of their number to lead the Order. The Dhamma-and the Dhamma alone-was his refuge. How could the bhikkhus become self-reliant? They knew the answer already:by meditation, concentration, mindfulness and a disciplined detachment from the world. The Sangha needed no one to govern it, no central authority. The whole point of the Buddhist lifestyle was to achieve an inner resource that made such dependence quite ludicrous.
Despite old age and the doubts and despair of old age, despite the merciless worm of decay, despite even the intestinal agony, the light had not yet altogether failed the Tathagata. The twilight vision had somehow retained the lucidity of dawn.
Whose conquest cannot be overthrown,
Whose conquest nobody equals in the world,
Whose realm is infinite,
Whose place you cannot locate-
By what steps can you show the way of that Buddha?
Om Mani Padme Hum
THE WORD OF THE BUDDHA
Poem in the Pali Canon:
Let all beings be happy!Weak or strong, of high, middle or low estate,
small or great, visible or invisible, near or far away,
alive or still to be born-may they all be entirely happy!
Let nobody lie to anybody or despise any single being anywhere.
May nobody wish harm to any single creature, out of anger or hatred!
Let us cherish all creatures, as a mother her only child!
May our loving thoughts fill the whole world, above, below,
across-without limit; a boundless goodwill toward the whole world,
unrestricted, free of hatred and enmity!
Refraining from all that is harmful,
Attaining what is skillful,
And purifying one's own mind;
This is what the Buddhas teach.
Forbearance and patience are the highest of all austerities;
And the Buddhas declare that Nibbana is the supreme value.
Nobody who hurts another has truly 'Gone Forth' from the home life.
Nobody who injures others is a true monk.
No faultfinding, no harming, restraint,
Knowing the rules regarding food, the single bed and chair,
Application in the higher perception derived from meditation-
This is what the Awakened Ones teach.
As a flame blown out by the wind
Goes to rest and cannot be defined,
So the enlightened man freed from selfishness
Goes to rest and cannot be defined.
Gone beyond all images-
Gone beyond the power of words.
Death of Buddha
According to the Mahaparinibbana Sutta of the Pali canon, at the age of 80, the Buddha announced that he would soon enter Parinirvana or the final deathless state abandoning the earthly body. After this, the Buddha ate his last meal, which, according to different translations, was either a mushroom delicacy or soft pork, which he had received as an offering from a blacksmith named Cunda. Falling violently ill, Buddha instructed his attendant Ānanda to convince Cunda that the meal eaten at his place had nothing to do with his passing and that his meal would be a source of the greatest merit as it provided the last meal for a Buddha.
Beings are numberless, I vow to save them.
Delusions are inexhaustible,
I vow to end them.
Dharma gates are boundless,
I vow to enter them.
Buddha's way is unsurpassable,
I vow to become it.