Gavāmpati after the Buddha's
The subordinate made full reverential prostrations before the Sangha, circumambulated them three times and then, like the great golden-winged bird, flew straight up into space, went to the dwelling place of Gavāmpati, made full reverential prostrations, and said to Gavāmpati, "Oh, supple, good and greatly virtuous one who has few desires, knows sufficiency, and constantly dwells in dhyāna absorption, pays his respects and sends this message: 'Now the Sangha has taken up a great matter of Dharma. You may descend immediately to survey the congregation of a multitude of jewels.'"
At this time, doubts arose in Gavāmpati's mind and he said to this , "The generals of Dharma don't have any matters in dispute wherefore they summon me to come, do they? There isn't anyone causing a schism in the Sangha, is there? Has the Buddha, the Sun, crossed into extinction?"
This said, "It is truly as you say. The Great Master, the Buddha, has already crossed into extinction."
Gavāmpati said, "The Buddha has passed into extinction too swiftly. The eye of the world has perished. That Dharma-Wheel-turning general capable of continuing on after the Buddha, my Upādhyāya, Sāriputra, ——where is he now?"
He replied, "He has already entered ."
Gavāmpati said, "The Dharma generals of the Great Master have each taken their leave. That could be a problem. Mahāmaudgalyāyana? Where is he now?"
The said, "That one too has crossed into extinction."
Gavāmpati said, "The Dharma of the Buddha is about to become scattered. The great men have passed on. Those beings [who remain] are to be pitied." He asked, "The Venerable Ananda. What is he doing now?"
This said, "After the Buddha crossed into extinction, the Venerable Ananda was so overcome with sorrow, whimpered so, wept so, and became so confused and desolate, that there is no way I can describe it."
Gavāmpati said, "Ananda is so grief-stricken because he still possesses the fetters of affection and experiences the [consequent] suffering of separation. Rāhula? How was he?"
[The ] replied, "Because Rāhula attained Arhatship, he was neither sorrowful nor melancholy. He simply meditated upon [the topic of] all dharmas being characterized by impermanence."
To be continued
English translation © 1996 Dharmamitra. All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission of Kalavinka (http://www.teleport.com/~dh-mitra/)