Skip to main content

In 483 BCE, Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who has the title of Buddha, died. His last words:

“Never forget it: decay is inherent in all things.”

The Buddha had been born a prince of the Sakya tribe in Nepal about 563 BCE. He described his early life this way:

“I was delicately nurtured, exceedingly delicately nurtured, delicately nurtured beyond measure.”
About the age of 30, he left the life of the idle rich, abandoned his wife and son, donned beggar’s clothes, and moved into a cave in the wilderness. He abused his body with starvation.

Having determined that starvation was not the route to enlightenment, he returned to a traditional Indian diet. As a consequence, he put on weight, and developed the large stomach that would later become his hallmark.

At the village of Pava in 483 BCE, he preached a sermon in a mango grove. The village’s wealthy families held a number of fetes with abundant food and drink in his honor. Cumda, a prosperous blacksmith, held the most lavish banquet. He honored the Buddha with meats, flavored rices, bamboo sprouts, milk sweets, and a spicy pork dish (sukara-maddava). The Buddha did not finish the meal: he was bloated, had stomach cramps and burning. He attempted to conceal his stress from his followers.

He left Pava on foot with the intention of going to Kusinara to preach. He did not get far. In all likelihood, a duodenal ulcer ruptured and loosed a large quantity of blood into his intestinal tract. Suffering from thirst, he lay on the roadside and begged for water. Water from a nearby stream—water which was probably polluted and unfit for drinking—was brought to him to drink.

Even though he was weak, bleeding anally, and vomiting, he tried to continue on to Kusinara. He lapsed into unconsciousness. During periods of lucidness, he talked to his followers about the inevitability of the decay of all living things.

According to another version of his death, he ate poisoned food at Cumda’s banquet. Knowing that the food was going to kill him, he warned his followers not to eat it. Then he lay down and meditated until he died.

Following his death, his body was cremated. His ashes were sifted into eight equal piles. Eight gold urns containing the ashes were sent to the rulers of the eight Indian kingdoms. Altars were erected over these relics which became places of worship.

Originally posted to Street Prophets on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 07:02 AM PST.

Also republished by History for Kossacks.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site