The First Dharma Council
At this time, the Sangha returned to its deliberations, whereupon a question arose: "Gavampati has already opted to cross into extinction. Who else is there who is able to collect and compile the treasury of scriptures?" The Venerable Aniruddha said, "Among the Buddha's disciples, this Venerable Ananda constantly assisted and was near to the Buddha. He heard the scriptures and is able to retain them. The Buddha always praised him, saying, 'This Ananda is able to collect and compile the treasury of scriptures.'"
Then the Venerable Mahakasyapa rubbed the top of Ananda's head, saying, "The Buddha bequeathed this responsibility to you, ordering you to uphold the treasury of Dharma. You should repay the Buddha's kindness. Where did the Buddha speak Dharma the very first time? All of the Buddha's great disciples who have the ability to maintain and guard the treasury of Dharma have crossed into extinction. There is only you, one person, remaining. Now you ought to accord with the mind of the Buddha and, out of sympathy for beings, collect together the treasury of the Buddha's Dharma."
At this time Ananda, after paying reverence to the Sangha, sat atop the lion's seat.
To be continued