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truth first
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four noble truths

The Buddha had reached a full eighty years. At that time in Kusinara, a wandering ascetic named Subhadda heard that the Buddha was in the Sal Grove and that He would be passing away into Final Enlightenment (parinibbana) that very night. A certain doubt had occupied his mind and knowing that a fully-enlightened Buddha would be able to dispel his uncertainty, he considered it profitable to speak to Him. Having approached the Venerable Ananda, he made the request several times but, Ananda, thinking to protect the physically weakened Buddha from disturbance in His last hours, denied the requests. The Compassionate One, however, overheard the conversation and called Ananda, saying "Let him come here. He is a true seeker and asks not out of idle curiosity. It will be no annoyance to me. Let him come. He will understand." Naming a number of sages who all claimed to have knowlege of the Truth, Subhadda asked if all had this wisdom, or only some, and not others. The Buddha asked him to put aside that question temporarily and not concern himself with whether or not others had realized the Truth. He said that, irrespective of their doctrine or discipline, a liberated person of the highest saintliness will be found where the Noble Eightfold Path is found in its entirety. Conversely, saints of the highest attainment will not be found in other paths where the Eightfold Path does not exist or only partially exists. He cautioned Subhadda to reject creeds which lead to corruption, pain, birth, decay and death in time to come and to accept wholesome teachings by which a person, by one's own power, could find perfect wisdom. Subhadda requested the Master to speak about the Noble Eightfold Path and, having understood, his doubts were resolved. Subhadda requested and received full ordination from the Buddha Himself. He was the last of many thousands to be personally ordained by the Buddha. Before long, Subhadda abandoned the defilements and became an arhat.

Contents | Birth | 4 Sights | Renunciation | Austeristies | Middle Way | Enlightenment | Teaching | Home | 2 Disciples | Women | Last Disciple | Death