THE BODHI SEAL OF THE PATRIARCH
By the Venerable
Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua
THE SECOND PATRIARCH, THE VENERABLE ANANDA
The Venerable One was from the city of Rajagrha, the son of King Dronodana, and a cousin of the Buddha. He was foremost in learning among the followers of the Buddha. One day he asked Kashyapa, "Elder Dharma brother, besides the golden kashaya, what else did the World-Honored One transmit?"
Kashyapa called Ananda. The Venerable One answered. Kashyapa told him, "The yashti fallen down in front of the gate."
Afterwards, Kashyapa also told the Venerable One, "This year I will not remain long, so now I will pass the Proper Dharma on to you. Protect it well."
Later on, the Venerable One transmitted the Dharma to Shanakavasa. In the Ganges River he entered extinction in midstream. His body rose in space, and he manifested the eighteen transformations of an Arhat. He entered the wind-sprint samadhi, and divided his body into four parts. One was offered up to the Heaven of the Thirty-three, one to the Dragon Sagara's palace, one to the King of Vaishali, and one to King Ajatashatru. At each location was built a jeweled stupa where offerings were made.
A verse in his praise reads:
Most learned holder and maintainer,
His wisdom-nature perfectly enlightened;
The yashti fallen down,
With both hands he divided the inheritance.
Rare the younger, rare the elder brother;
Such the disciple, such too was the Teacher.
So it was with him,
As portrayed by the later generations.