Nov 11th

40. Buddha's Last Days

By Raja
By his regular yoga practice
For nearly twenty five years,
At the bank of a river,
An ascetic walked on water.

Buddha told him, “For a penny
You can cross the river by a ferry.
It’s a worthless gain for your labor
Spent for all these years.”

Before his life came an end,
It was his desire to spend
On meeting more people
And uplift them all.

Day by day, weak he became
But to hear him, people came.
Ananda, his close disciple,
Tried to prevent the people.

He chided Ananda then
Saying, “I’ve more concern
For people’s happiness,
Than for my weakness.”

In his bed, with feeble voice
And half-closed eyes
He asked his disciples,
“Any more questions?”

Thrice he asked them,
And repeated the same,
But none had the mood,
As speechless, they stood.

He whispered at last,
“The decay is inherent
Which none can prevent.
This is a natural event.”

“You should remember,
Truth will remain forever.
With diligence you work,
Your salvation to seek.”

With these final words,
In a meditative mood,
Attaining Nirvana at last,
He breathed his last.

In 483 BC, on full moon day,
In the month of May,
Buddha, forever, had left,
While the whole world wept.

The sky became dark then,
As both the moon and sun,
Suddenly, with no trace,
Withdrew their long rays.

The earth shook violently.
The waves roared vehemently.
The trees shed their flowers,
And fluttered their leaves.

His teachings still remain,
In the hearts of everyone,
For he always lived for others,
And strived for their happiness.

The End of Buddha's Story
Nov 10th

39. The Offerings

By Raja
Buddha said, “If one lives
Just for others’ happiness,
Happy that one becomes
As a matter of course.”

“To offer others
A heart one needs
Not the riches
Nor the social status.”

Seven compassions
For the offerings
He had mentioned
To be followed.

1.Offerings of the eye:
Looking at others with
affection and mercy
not contempt or arrogance.

2. Offerings of expression:
A bright smiling face,
Not a grim or depressed one.

3. Offerings of words:
Speaking gently so that
Those who hear will feel happy.

4. Offering of attitude:
Attitude of respect, not
Looking down upon others.

5. Offering of the heart:
Speaking and behaving warmly.

6. Offering of seat:
Provide a seat to others
with respect

7. Offering of abode:
Invite others to one’s home.
Have an attitude of sharing.

These offerings, he followed,
Also expressed his gratitude
To others, who similarly followed
The path he had found.

Buddha and his disciples
Were invited for meals
By a blacksmith, one
Of the low caste men.

As Buddha was very weak,
Even to go for a walk,
The worried disciples,
Refused to go for meals.

He said, ”It’s my intention,
The blacksmith’s devotion,
And sincerity must be taken,
To accept his invitation.”

“He should not feel,
I’ve refused his meal
As he’s from low caste,
Which is not correct.”

Buddha treated everyone,
Low or high caste, as one,
Rich or poor, as one,
Friends or foes, as one.

Despite his stomach disorder,
He accepted the offer.
As for the host’s devotion,
He had shown appreciation.

Eighty years old he was,
Yet, he served the cause
Of the suffering mass,
Till his last moments.

Buddhism found its roots
In India, but its branches
Spread all o’er the world,
Though it’s 2500 years old.
Nov 9th

38. Ajatashatru Regrets

By Raja
King Ajatashatru heard
That Devedatta had died.
He had lost his best friend,
Who stood ever by his side.

He imprisoned his father,
And then killed him there.
On the advice of Devadatta
He tried to kill Buddha.

All the great sins he did
In return, they paid
In the form of disease,
With painful blisters.

Doctors treated him in vain.
He couldn’t bear the pain.
Buddha sent a physician,
Who gave him proper medicine.

For his sins, he repented.
Before Buddha, he begged
To be excused for his deed,
Which, on him, recoiled.

Taking pity, Buddha cured
Both his body and mind.
He then joined Sangha,
As a disciple, served Buddha.

Buddha’s father sent word
That he was in death bed.
Buddha rushed to see him.
But he died in his son’s arms.

After the King Shuddhodana
The entire clan of Shakya
Battled among themselves
For position and powers.

Buddha continued to travel
And helped suffering people.
Even when he was very old,
He served them till the end.
Nov 8th

37. Buddha's Message To Devadatta

By Raja
Buddha wanted peace.
He sent two disciples
To Devadatta’s place
To settle any difference.

His message was the truth
At any cost, was worth
More than deceit and lies,
As truth ended in success.

Devadatta said, “The two disciples.
Of Buddha are coming close
To hear my special lectures,
Better than what Buddha gives.”

When they came near,
He told them, “Look hear,
I want rest for sometime
You take the class this time.”

He slept like a wood then.
The two spoke on compassion
What was Buddha made of,
How he cared for other’s life.

All the assembled people
Felt that Buddha was real
And Devadatta, a fraud
Cheating the whole crowd.

They got up and walked out.
To hear Buddha, they went.
When Devadatta woke up
There was none to speak up.

He burst into anger,
That became a danger,
As he coughed up blood,
And on that spot, he died.

Buddha represented the truth.
And Devadatta, the untruth.
Finally truth had won over untruth,
In the battle of truth-vs-untruth.
Nov 7th

36. Devatatta Plots To Kill Buddha

By Raja
Devadatta’s next plan
Was to push down
A big boulder from the top
To crush Buddha into pulp.

This plot also had failed
As Buddha had escaped
With a very minor injury
That caused him no worry.

He influenced the King
Ajathashatru, for eliminating
Buddha by an elephant
Which could silently do it.

The King told the Mahout
To give alcohol to the elephant
And leave it in the streets
When Buddha goes for alms.

Nalagiri, the elephant
Ran madly in the streets.
It destroyed tall trees,
And damaged houses.

Near Buddha it came.
He called by its name
“Oh Nalagiri, be calm.
I’m here; do no harm.”

The alcohol effect had gone
The elephant calmly sat down.
The whole crowd watched.
It was a miracle indeed!

It shocked Devadatta.
The power of Buddha
He then understood.
But his anger continued.

His jealousy and arrogance,
And the sense of vengeance,
Grew more than ever before,
But Buddha hated him never.
Nov 6th

35. Devadatta, The Cousin

By Raja
The first Cousin, Devadatta,
Was always jealous of Buddha.
He told people, he was greater,
And Buddha was not superior.

King Bimbisara, the disciple
Of Buddha was too liberal
In giving gifts to Buddha
And not to Devadatta.

This burnt Devadatta’s heart.
He hatched a wicked plot
To dethrone King Bimbisara,
And crown his son Ajathashatru.

He told Ajatashatru, his friend,
“Your father has become old.
You just put him in prison
And then ascend the throne.”

“You’re wiser and superior
To your old father,
So, better rule the Kingdom
With all your wisdom.”

Tempted by his advice,
Ajatashatru, the prince,
Became the next ruling King
By imprisoning the old King.

As Bimbisara was a noble King,
His people started revolting.
On the advice of Devadatta
He killed his father, Bimbisara.

Devadatta wanted to eliminate
Buddha in the next plot.
With King Ajatashatru’s help
He wanted to send him up.

To kill Buddha, he sent
An archer, who went
And came back without
Shooting a single shot.

He said, “He’s so radiant,
So serene, and so great,
I can’t do any harm
Nor shoot to kill him.”
Nov 5th

34. Compassion For Animals

By Raja
Buddha saw one day,
A shepherd on the way,
Chasing goats and sheep,
All in one pack to keep.

A little lamb trailed behind,
With a severe wound
When it was struck,
By the shepherd’s stick.

As if he was wounded,
Buddha’s heart melted.
He took it in his hand,
And slowly went behind.

“Caring innocent being
Is better than sitting
In caves, with eyes closed,
As if not concerned.”

He asked the shepherd,
“Oh my friend
Where do you take
This huge flock?”

The shepherd replied,
“In sacrifice, to be offered,
The King had ordered.
And I obey his command.”

When the flock passed
Thro’ streets, people talked,
“See, he’s a holy hermit.
The flock, he has brought.”

Near the altar Buddha stood.
The King then understood,
The ceremony to lead
The hermit came as head,

The high priest was about
To cut with knife a goat,
Buddha cried, “Oh King,
This, why are you allowing.”

“Every creature loves to live,
As a human being likes to live.
It’s an act of cruelty to kill,
For sacrifice, innocent animals.”

The priest threw the knife
And spared the goat’s life.
The King ordered, “No more
Sacrifices in his land, in future.”
Nov 4th

33. Oil Lamp Of The Poor

By Raja
Once Prince Ajatashatru sent
Oil drums for lamps at night.
An old woman, who saw this
Wished to give oil for lamps.

But she was too poor to buy
Still she didn’t give up her try.
She cut off her long hair,
And for oil, she sold her hair.”

She gave that oil, with a lamp,
To Buddha for lighting up,
He received the oil cup
And used it for her lamp.

Her lamp lasted thro’ the night
And was spreading steady light.
The lamps, with the oil sent
By the prince, blew off by midnight.

Buddha said, “The woman
Was sincere in her intention.
While the royal prince
Exhibited his arrogance.”

“This is the difference
Found in their performance.
One who’s always humble
Shines in their life well.”

“In no way her small offer
Can be taken as inferior,
While the prince’s bulk offer
Cannot be taken as superior.”

“The sincerity, not the size,
The humbleness, not the price,
These values only count
To accept any asset.”

Buddha was a conqueror
Of the spiritual world,
And was a reformer
Of the material world.
Nov 3rd

32. Expecting Rewards

By Raja
One day, a disciple said,
“Expecting a reward,
For a good work done,
Is not wrong, in my opinion.”

Buddha narrated a story:

“A reward is not a reward,
When the same is expected.
When it comes unexpected
Then, take it as a reward.”

A King was seriously ill.
Doctors treated him well
But he didn’t recover still
As if it was an evil spell.

Messengers went round,
And they luckily found,
A Doctor from a village
Who came at the last stage.

He gave the King a potion,
That did wonderful action.
In two days, he improved
And slowly he recovered.

The doctor told the King
“Now that you’re improving
Let me go back home
As I’m here for a long time.”

The King said, “Wait here
Until I feel myself better.”
He didn’t allow the doctor
On some plea or the other.

At last, he came back
And to his good luck,
A mansion stood in the place
Of his dilapidated house.

His wife and children,
In silken dress, were seen.
They wore best of jewels.
And received him with cheers.

People around gathered.
Praises, they showered
On the doctor for his skill
That cured the King well.

The doctor was spellbound.
To say, no words he found.
He brought home nothing.
But the King did everything.
Nov 2nd

31. The Story Of Amrapali

By Raja
A beautiful courtesan,
Amrapali, had a big garden
Where Buddha stayed once,
Along with his disciples.

She took it lucky
And was very happy
To see their presence
In her own place.

She wanted to sit
At Buddha’s feet
And hear his sermon
As a humble woman.

In her very simple dress,
Without wearing jewels,
Before Buddha, she sat
But was looking smart.

Buddha noticed her,
Listening to his lecture,
With rapt attention,
And deep devotion.

Suddenly he told them,
“How she looks very calm
Despite her big connections
With the King and courtiers.”

“She’s young and beautiful.
She’s rich and moves well.
Yet, her heart is pure
And she’s very sincere.”

Amarpali felt more humble
She invited him for a meal.
As a gesture of goodwill
He accepted her call.

He rejected the invitation
Of another local rich man,
Who called him for meals,
Along with his disciples.

When all of them came,
Amrapali welcomed them
With a humble submission,
To her decorated mansion.

When the meal was over
Buddha then blessed her.
All of them thanked her
And was about to leave her.

She told, “This mansion,
Is not mine from now on,
But goes to Sangha, as my gift.
My humble offer, kindly accept.”

Buddha accepted the gift,
That came from her heart,
Appreciating her kindness
And her truthfulness.

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