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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords

XV:7 The way to honour the Buddha (Tissa)

When the Buddha announced that in four months time he would attain parinibbana, many bhikkhus who had not yet attained Sainthood were sad and depressed. They were at a loss and did not know what to do, and so they kept close to the Buddha. But Venerable Tissa, having resolved that he would attain Arahanthood in the life-time of the Teacher did not go to him, but left for a secluded place to practise meditation. Other bhikkhus, not understanding his behaviour, reported him to the Teacher and said, 'Venerable Sir! Tissa does not seem to cherish and honour you; he only keeps to himself instead of coming to your presence.' Tissa then explained that he was striving diligently to attain Arahanthood before the Buddha attained parinibbana, and that was the only reason why he had not come to see the Enlightened One. Having allowed him to give his explanation, the Buddha said: 'Bhikkhus! Those who love and respect me should act like Tissa. You are not honouring me by just offering flowers. You honour me only by practising the Dhamma.'

55/170 Dhammapada & Commentary Khuddhaka J.i.106ff. despair

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Last modified on: Sunday, 13 August 2000.