Subhadda

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Subhadda was the last person converted by the Buddha. Once the Buddha said; ‘Even if you have to carry me around on a stretcher (because of sickness or old age) there will be no change in the clarity of my wisdom. If anyone were to speak rightly of me they could say that a being not liable to delusion has appeared in the world, for the good of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the good and happiness of gods and humans’(M.I,83).

In this sense the Buddha was true to his word. Only a few hours before his passing, as he lay surrounded by his disciples, the wandering ascetic Subhadda pushed his way through the crowd wanting to ask him some questions. Ananda held him back saying; ‘Enough Subhadda, do not disturb the Tathàgata, for he is weary.’ The Buddha heard this and told Ananda to let the ascetic come to him ‘for whatever he will ask is because he is questing for enlightenment.’ Subhadda sat before the Buddha and the two men spoke for a while. Subhadda took to heart what the Buddha said and later he attained enlightenment (D.II,149). Such was the Buddha’s compassion that he taught the Dhamma almost to his last breath.

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