|The Buddha reclining into final nirvana between sal trees in Kusinara (Yangon, Burmese)|
|Massive statue of the Buddha reclining (not sleeping) between sal trees in Kusinara.|
Part 3: Final teachings
62. "And what, monastics, are these teachings [these "things relating to enlightenment" or 37 Requisites of Enlightenment, the bodhipakkhiya-dhamma]? They are the:
- Four Foundations of Mindfulness
- Four Right Efforts
- Four Constituents of Psychic Power
- Five Faculties
- Five Powers
- Seven Factors of Enlightenment
- Noble Eightfold Path.
63. Then the Blessed One said to them: "So, monastics, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to passing away. Strive with earnestness. The time of the Tathagata's final nirvana is near. Three months hence the Tathagata will utterly pass away."
64. And having spoken these words, the Happy One, the Teacher, spoke again, saying:
mindful, and of virtue pure!
5. And the Blessed One spoke to Venerable Ananda, saying: "Ananda, the twin sala trees are in full bloom even though it is not the flowering season. The blossoms rain upon the body of the Tathagata [the Wayfarer, the Buddha] and drop and scatter and are strewn upon it in honor of the Tathagata. Celestial coral [space] flowers and heavenly sandalwood powder from the sky rain down upon the body of the Tathagata, and drop and scatter and are strewn upon it in honor of the Tathagata. And the sound of heavenly voices and celestial instruments makes music in the air out of reverence for the Tathagata.
6. "Yet it is not in this way, Ananda, that the Tathagata is honored, respected, venerated, esteemed, or worshipped to the highest degree. But, Ananda, any monastic or layperson who abides by the Dharma, lives uprightly in the Dharma, walks according to the way of the Dharma -- it is by such a one that the Tathagata is honored, respected, venerated, esteemed, and worshipped to the highest degree.
"Therefore, Ananda, train yourselves: 'We shall abide by the Dharma, live uprightly in the Dharma, walk according to the way of the Dharma.'" More