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XII:10 The story of a diligent monk (Attadatta)
When the Buddha declared that he would attain parinibbana in four months' time, many bhikkhus (i.e. those who had not yet gained Arahanthood) were sad and did not know what to do. So, they kept close to him. A monk named Attadatta, however, did not go to see him and, having resolved to attain Arahanthood during the lifetime of the Buddha, was striving hard in the meditation practice. Other bhikkhus, not understanding him, took him to the Enlightened One and said, 'Venerable Sir! This bhikkhu does not love and revere you as we do. He is egoistic and keeps to himself.' The monk then respectfully explained that the greatest homage he could pay the Buddha was to attain Arahanthood before his parinibbana.
In applauding the monk, the Buddha told the bhikkhus, 'Those who love and revere me should act like Attadatta. You are not paying me homage by coming to see me; you pay me homage only by practising the Dhamma I have taught you.'
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