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And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: “Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!”

This was the last word of the Tathagata. – Maha-parinibbana Sutta: Last Days of the Buddha

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“It may be that after I am gone that some of you will think, ‘now we have no teacher.’ But that is not how you should see it. Let the Dharma and the discipline that I have taught you be your teacher. All individual things pass away. Strive on, untiringly.”

– – –

“Behold, O monks, this is my last advice to you. All component things in the world are changeable. They are not lasting. Work hard to gain your own salvation.”


From The Buddha: A Film by David Grubin (PBS)

Teachings of the Buddha

  • Do not believe a thing simply because it has been said.
  • Do not put your faith in traditions only because they have been honored by many generations.
  • Do not believe a thing because the general opinion believes it to be true or because it has been said repeatedly.
  • Do not believe a thing because of the single witness of one of the sages of antiquity.
  • Do not believe a thing because the probabilities are in its favor, or because you are in the habit of believe it to be true.
  • Do not believe in that which comes to your imagination, thinking that it must be the revelation of a superior Being.
  • Believe nothing that binds you to the sole authority of your masters or priests.
  • That which you have tried yourself, which you have experienced, which you have recognized as true, and which will be beneficial to you and to others; believe that, and shape your conduct to it.

Meditation on the Last Words of the Buddha