By Leela George

ISBN-10: 812371081X

ISBN-13: 9788123710815

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Do not grieve Ananda. My teachings and the Sangha will be your guide ," the Buddha consoled him. The Budd ha, however, recovered from this illness. ever to preach. He was co ncerned about hi s follower s, the monks who would be soon without his living presence . He called the Vaishali monks together and gave them his final message. "Each . should be a refuge unto him self. Each must concentrate on self-d iscipline. Only through self-discipline can . " From Vaishali the Buddha went in stages to Kushinagara, the co untry of the Malla s, On the way, at Pava he accepted the hospitality of a blacksmith named Chunda.

You have a buse d me and I decline to accept the abuse," said the Buddha . " At times to make his point clear he spoke in parables. One such parable was the story of a king of Varanasi. The king of Varanasi was a powerful monarch. Once seeing the weakne ss of the smaller neighbouring kingdom of Kosala, he attacked it. The king and queen fled and took refuge with a potter in Varanasi where their son, Dighavu, was born. When Dighavu was still a boy, the identity of the 51 refugees became known.

Even before hi s death they had become a major force within the country . And tod ay, more than two th ousand five hundred years after the death of the Buddha the wheel depicted on our national flag is the wheel of righteousness which is a symbol of the Buddha' s teachi ngs to the people . After his death the Buddha's teachings began to spread out side India, mainly because of the zeal of Emperor Ashoka. They spread in the east to Burma and Indo-China. In the south Buddhism became the religion of Sri Lanka.

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Gautama Buddha by Leela George


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