Light unto Yourself
Gautam, the Buddha, was about to attain Mahaparinirvana.
Ananda, one of His disciples, was disconsolate. He had been the closest companion of Buddha for about forty years. He had eagerly soaked in every word of wisdom uttered by the Master. He remembered almost every discourse of Buddha and could effortlessly recite His teachings. But he had failed to attain enlightenment. Many disciples had, in the intervening years, achieved their goal and were spreading Dharma amongst the people. But Ananda was still groping in darkness.
With tears in his eyes he asked Buddha, “Master, what will I do when you leave? I am still a learner. With no one to guide me, how will I attain enlightenment?”
Buddha smiled and said, “Do not grieve. This is my last advice to you and to my all disciples. All things in this world are impermanent; be vigilant and work hard to attain enlightenment; be a light unto yourself.”
Ananda dutifully followed the path shown by Buddha and in time attained enlightenment.
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