The Discourse about the Great Emancipation

[The Fifth Chapter for Recitation]

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[38: The Mallas Worship the Gracious One]

“Go, Ānanda, and after entering into Kusinārā, announce to the Mallas: ‘Today, Vāseṭṭhas, This is their clan name.01 in the last watch of the night, will be the Realised One's attainment of Final Emancipation, come along, Vāseṭṭhas, come along, Vāseṭṭhas, do not regret it afterwards (thinking): “In the area of our village, was the Realised One's attainment of Final Emancipation, and we did not, in the last watch of the night, get to see the Realised One” ’.”

“Very well, reverend Sir,” said venerable Ānanda, and after replying to the Gracious One, dressing, and taking his robes and bowl, he entered Kusinārā with a companion.

Now at that time the Mallas from Kusinārā were assembled in the Council Hall having some business or other. Then venerable Ānanda went to where the Mallas from Kusinārā were assembled in the Council Hall, and after approaching he said this to the Mallas: “Today, Vāseṭṭhas, in the last watch of the night, will be the Realised One's attainment of Final Emancipation, come along, Vāseṭṭhas, come along, Vāseṭṭhas, do not regret it afterwards (thinking): ‘In the area of our village, was the Realised One's attainment of Final Emancipation, and we did not, in the last watch of the night, get to see the Realised One.’ ”

After hearing this from venerable Ānanda, the Mallas, the sons of the Mallas, the daughters-in-law of the Mallas, and the wives of the Mallas became miserable, depressed, with their minds given over to suffering. Some, having dishevelled hair, were weeping, throwing up their arms, falling down (as though) cut down, rolling backwards and forwards as though with their feet cut off, they were crying: “Too quickly the Gracious One will attain Final Emancipation, too quickly the Fortunate One will attain Final Emancipation, too quickly the Visionary in the world will disappear!”

Then the Mallas, the sons of the Mallas, the daughters-in-law of the Mallas, and the wives of the Mallas, miserable, depressed, with their minds given over to suffering, approached the Mallas' Sal Wood at Upavattana, and approached venerable Ānanda.

Then this occurred to venerable Ānanda: “If I make the Mallas of Kusinārā worship the Gracious One one by one before the Gracious One has been worshipped by the Mallas of Kusinārā the night will end. Literally: the night will become bright.02 Now what if I, having segregated the Mallas family by family, made them worship the Gracious One, (saying): ‘A Malla named so and so, together with his children, wife, dependents, and councillors worships the Gracious One's feet with his head'?”

Then venerable Ānanda having segregated the Mallas family by family, made them worship the Gracious One, (saying): “A Malla named so and so, together with his children, wife, dependents, and councillors worships the Gracious One's feet with his head.”

Then venerable Ānanda, in this way, during the first watch of the night, made the Mallas of Kusinārā worship the Gracious One.