Subhadra, the brahmacārin, was one hundred and twenty years old and had obtained the five superknowledges. He dwelt on the shore of Lake Anavatapta. One night, in a dream, he saw everyone blinded and standing naked in the dark. The sun fell from the sky, the earth was shattered, and the great oceans had all dried up. A great wind arose and blew away Mount Sumeru. When he woke up he was frightened and thought, "Why was it like this? Is my life about to end or is the lord of heaven and earth about to fall?" He was bewildered and unable to understand it. Because he had had this terrible dream, a god who had been his spiritual guide in a former life descended from above and said to Subhadra, "Don't be frightened. There is a man possessed of omniscience known as the Buddha, who, tomorrow, in the middle of the night, will enter the nirvana without residue. Therefore your dream was not to do with you."
Then, the next day Subhadra went to the forest in the state of Kusinagara and saw Ananda walking along and said to Ananda, "I have heard that your master describes a new path to nirvana, and that this very day, in the middle of the night, he will choose to enter extinction. My mind is afflicted with doubts. Please, I wish to see the Buddha that he might resolve the cause of my doubts."
Ananda replied, "The World Honored One's body is exhausted. If you approach with difficult questions it will weary and trouble the World Honored One."
Subhadra repeated his request until he had asked three times. Each time Ananda replied as before. The Buddha overheard this from a distance and ordered Ananda, "Allow Subhadra the brahmacārin to come forward and freely pose difficult questions. This will be my very last conversation and my very last disciple to gain the Way."
At this time Subhadra was able to have an audience with the Buddha. After he had greeted the World Honored One, he sat down to one side and thought, "Although the followers of all of the externalist traditions renounce the ties of love and affection, of wealth and treasure, nonetheless they do not gain the Way. Only the "Sramaņa Gautama has found the Way." After he had finished this thought, he asked the Buddha, "Here in this land of Jambudvlpa, all of the six masters say of themselves, "I am possessed of all-knowledge. Is this talk true or not?"