Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera
'I am not the first Buddha to come
upon this earth; nor shall I be the last. Previously, there were many
Buddhas who appeared in this world. In due time, another Buddha will
arise in this world, within this world cycle.'
the Buddha was about to pass away, Ven. Ananda and many other disciples
wept. The Buddha said, 'Enough, Ananda. Do not allow yourself to be
troubled. Do not weep. Have I not already told you that it is in the very
nature of things that they must pass away. We must be separated from all
that is near and dear to us. The foolish man conceives his idea of Self;
the wise man sees there is no ground on which to build the Self. Thus the
wise man has a right conception of the world. He will conclude that all
component things will be dissolved again; but the Truth will always
The Buddha continued:' Why
should I preserve this body when the body of the excellent law will
endure? I am resolved. I have accomplished my purpose and have attended to
the work set upon me. Ananda, for a long time you have been very near to
me in thoughts, words and acts of much love beyond all measure. You have
done well, Ananda. Be earnest in effort and you too will soon be free from
bondages! You will be free from sensuality, from delusion, and from
ignorance.' Suppressing his tears, Ananda said to the Buddha, 'Who shall
teach us when You are gone?' And the Buddha advised him to regard His
Teaching as the Master.
The Buddha continued
again:' I am not the first Buddha to come upon earth; nor shall I be the
last. In due time, another Buddha will arise in this world, a Holy One, a
Supremely Enlightened One, endowed with wisdom, in conduct auspicious,
knowing the universe, an incomparable leader of men, a master of devas and
men. He will reveal to you the same Eternal Truths which I have taught
you. He will proclaim a religious life, wholly perfect and pure; such as I
'How shall we know him?'
asked Ananda. The Buddha replied, 'He will be known as Maitreya which
means kindness or friendliness.'
Buddhists believe that
those people who at present are doing meritorious deeds by leading a
religious life will have a chance to be reborn as human beings in the time
of Maitreya Buddha and will obtain Nibbana identical with that of Gautama
Buddha. In this way they will find salvation through the guidance of His
Teaching. His Teaching will become a hope of the remote future for
everybody. However, according to the Buddha devout religious people can
gain this Nabbanic bliss at any time if they really work for it
irrespective of whether a Buddha appears or not.
'As long as my disciples lead a pure
religious life, so long the world will never become empty of Arahantas.'
- (Maha Parinibbana Sutta)
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