-1

I came across this statement made by Ajahn Brahm:

After he became enlightened under the banyan tree, Mara came to him and said, ‘Okay, you’re enlightened, I admit it. Now don’t go teaching, it’s just too burdensome. Just enter parinibbana now, just disappear.’ The Buddha said, ‘No, I will not enter parinibbana. I will not leave this life until I have established the bhikkhu sangha, bhikkhuni sangha, laymen, and laywomen Buddhists: the four pillars of Buddhism.’ Forty-five years later, at the Capala Shrine, Mara came again and said, ‘You’ve done it! There are lots and lots of bhikkhunis enlightened, lots of bhikkhus enlightened, great laymen and laywomen Buddhists . . . so keep your promise,’ and [the Buddha] said, ‘Okay, in three months, I’ll enter parinibbana.’ What those two passages from the suttas demonstrate is that it was the Buddha’s mission; it was why he taught—to establish those four pillars of the sangha.

I wonder what passages he's referring to? I understood the Buddha's immediately-post-enlightenment stance on teaching to have been a little more reluctant than this puts it, and ditto with his stance on an order of nuns.

1 Answer 1

3

The passage appears only found in the Maha-parinibbana Sutta: Last Days of the Buddha, which is unusual, given it appears not mentioned in the various other suttas or in the Vinaya about the Buddha's enlightenment, at Uruvela, on the bank of the Nerañjara River.

  1. "There was a time, Ananda, when I dwelt at Uruvela, on the bank of the Nerañjara River, at the foot of the goatherds' banyan-tree, soon after my supreme Enlightenment. And Mara, the Evil One, approached me, saying: 'Now, O Lord, let the Blessed One come to his final passing away! Let the Happy One utterly pass away! The time has come for the Parinibbana of the Lord.'

  2. "Then, Ananda, I answered Mara, the Evil One, saying: 'I shall not come to my final passing away, Evil One, until my bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, laymen and laywomen, have come to be true disciples — wise, well disciplined, apt and learned, preservers of the Dhamma, living according to the Dhamma, abiding by appropriate conduct and, having learned the Master's word, are able to expound it, preach it, proclaim it, establish it, reveal it, explain it in detail, and make it clear; until, when adverse opinions arise, they shall be able to refute them thoroughly and well, and to preach this convincing and liberating Dhamma.

  3. "'I shall not come to my final passing away, Evil One, until this holy life taught by me has become successful, prosperous, far-renowned, popular, and widespread, until it is well proclaimed among gods and men.'

  4. "And again today, Ananda, at the Capala shrine, Mara, the Evil One, approached me, saying: 'Now, O Lord, bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, laymen and laywomen, have come to be true disciples of the Blessed One — wise, well disciplined, apt and learned, preservers of the Dhamma, living according to the Dhamma, abiding in the appropriate conduct, and having learned the Master's word, are able to expound it, preach it, proclaim it, establish it, reveal it, explain it in detail, and make it clear; and when adverse opinions arise, they are now able to refute them thoroughly and well, and to preach this convincing and liberating Dhamma.

"'And now, O Lord, this holy life taught by the Blessed One has become successful, prosperous, far-renowned, popular and widespread, and it is well proclaimed among gods and men. Therefore, O Lord, let the Blessed One come to his final passing away! Let the Happy One utterly pass away! The time has come for the Parinibbana of the Lord.'

  1. "And then, Ananda, I answered Mara, the Evil One, saying: 'Do not trouble yourself, Evil One. Before long the Parinibbana of the Tathagata will come about. Three months hence the Tathagata will utterly pass away.'

  2. "And in this way, Ananda, today at the Capala shrine the Tathagata has renounced his will to live on."

Maha-parinibbana Sutta: Last Days of the Buddha or in brief AN 8.70

Buddha's reluctance to teach to prompt Brahma's request: MN 26 or in brief SN 6.1

Buddha's reluctance to ordain women: AN 8.51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .