The Discourse about the Great Emancipation

[The Fourth Chapter for Recitation]

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[30: Bringing Drinking Water]

Then the Gracious One, having gone down from the road, approached the root of a certain tree, and after approaching, he addressed venerable Ānanda, (saying): “Come now, Ānanda, prepare the outer robe folded in four for me, I am weary, Ānanda, and will sit down.”

“Very well, reverend Sir”, said venerable Ānanda, and after replying to the Gracious One, he prepared the outer robe folded in four, and the Gracious One sat down on the prepared seat. The Commentary tells us that the Buddha had to sit down like this 25 times on the way from Pāvā to Kusinārā.01 While sitting the Gracious One addressed venerable Ānanda, (saying): “Come now, Ānanda, bring drinking water, I am thirsty, Ānanda, and will drink.”

After that was said, venerable Ānanda said this to the Gracious One: “Just now, reverend Sir, five hundred wagons have passed by, and the little water that flows, having been churned by the wheels, is stirred up and disturbed. The Kakutthā river is not far away, with transparent water, agreeable water, cool water, pure water, with beautiful banks, a delightful (place), there the Gracious One can drink drinking water, and can cool his limbs.”

For a second time the Gracious One addressed venerable Ānanda, (saying): “Come now, Ānanda, bring drinking water, I am thirsty, Ānanda, and will drink.”

For a second time venerable Ānanda said this to the Gracious One: “Just now, reverend Sir, five hundred wagons have passed by, and the little water that flows, having been churned by the wheels, is stirred up and disturbed. The Kakutthā river is not far away, with transparent water, agreeable water, cool water, pure water, with beautiful banks, a delightful (place), there the Gracious One can drink drinking water, and can cool his limbs.”

For a third time the Gracious One addressed venerable Ānanda, (saying): “Come now, Ānanda, bring drinking water, I am thirsty, Ānanda, and will drink.”

“Very well, reverend Sir”, said venerable Ānanda, and after replying to the Gracious One, and taking the bowl, he approached the little river. Then that little river that was flowing, which had been churned by the wheels, and was stirred up and disturbed, as venerable Ānanda was approaching, flowed transparent, clear, and undisturbed.

Then it occurred to venerable Ānanda: “Surely it is wonderful, surely it is marvellous, the Realised One's great power and great majesty, in that that little river that is flowing, which has been churned by wheels, and is stirred up and disturbed, as I was approaching, flowed transparent, clear, and undisturbed.”

After taking a bowl of drinking water he approached the Gracious One, and after approaching, he said this to the Gracious One: “It is wonderful, reverend Sir, it is marvellous, reverend Sir, the Realised One's great power and great majesty, in that that little river that is flowing, which has been churned by wheels, and is stirred up and disturbed, as I was approaching, flowed transparent, clear, and undisturbed. Please drink the drinking water, Gracious One! Please drink the drinking water, Fortunate One!” Then the Gracious One drank the water.