Mahāparinibbānasuttaṁ
The Discourse about the Great Emancipation

[Chaṭṭhabhāṇavāraṁ]
[The Sixth Chapter for Recitation]

[42: Sarīrapaṭipajjanaṁ]
[The Preparation of the Body]

Atha kho āyasmā ca Anuruddho āyasmā ca Ānando
Then venerable Anuruddha and venerable Ānanda

taṁ rattāvasesaṁ Dhammiyā kathāya vītināmesuṁ.
spent the rest of the night in talk about the Teaching.

Atha kho āyasmā Anuruddho āyasmantaṁ Ānandaṁ āmantesi:
Then venerable Anuruddha addressed venerable Ānanda, (saying):

“Gacchāvuso Ānanda Kusināraṁ pavisitvā,
“Go, Ānanda, and after entering Kusinārā

Kosinārakānaṁ Mallānaṁ ārocehi:
inform the Mallas of Kusinārā, (saying):

‘Parinibbuto Vāseṭṭhā Bhagavā yassa dāni kālaṁ maññathā’.” ti
‘The Gracious One has attained Emancipation, Vāseṭṭhas, now is the time for whatever you are thinking.’ ”

“Evaṁ Bhante,” ti kho āyasmā Ānando āyasmato Anuruddhassa paṭissutvā,
“Very well, reverend Sir,” said venerable Ānanda, and after replying to venerable Anuruddha,

pubbaṇhasamayaṁ nivāsetvā, pattacīvaram-ādāya, attadutiyo Kusināraṁ pāvisi.
dressing in the morning time, and taking his robes and bowl, he entered Kusinārā with a companion.

 

Tena kho pana samayena Kosinārakā Mallā
Now at that time the Mallas from Kusinārā

Santhāgāre sannipatitā honti teneva karaṇīyena.
were assembled in the Council Hall having some business (or other).

Atha kho āyasmā Ānando
Then venerable Ānanda

yena Kosinārakānaṁ Mallānaṁ Santhāgāraṁ tenupasaṅkami,
approached the Mallas from Kusinārā in the Council Hall,

upasaṅkamitvā Kosinārakānaṁ Mallānaṁ ārocesi:
and after approaching he informed the Mallas of Kusinārā (saying):

“Parinibbuto Vāseṭṭhā Bhagavā yassa dāni kālaṁ maññathā.” ti
“The Gracious One has attained Emancipation, Vāseṭṭhas, now is the time for whatever you are thinking.”

Idam-āyasmato Ānandassa vacanaṁ sutvā,
After hearing this word from venerable Ānanda,

Mallā ca Mallaputtā ca Mallasuṇisā ca Mallapajāpatiyo ca
the Mallas, the sons of the Mallas, the daughters-in-law of the Mallas, and the wives of the Mallas

aghāvino dummanā cetodukkhasamappitā.
became miserable, depressed, with their minds given over to suffering.

Appekacce kese pakiriya kandanti,
Some, having dishevelled hair, were weeping,

bāhā paggayha kandanti, chinnapātaṁ papatanti, āvaṭṭanti vivaṭṭanti
throwing up their arms, falling down (as though) cut down, rolling backwards and forwards as though with their feet cut off, they were crying:

“Atikhippaṁ Bhagavā parinibbuto,
“Too quickly the Gracious One has attained Final Emancipation,

atikhippaṁ Sugato parinibbuto,
too quickly the Fortunate One has attained Final Emancipation,

atikhippaṁ Cakkhumā loke antarahito!” ti
too quickly the Visionary in the world has disappeared!”

Atha kho Kosinārakā Mallā purise āṇāpesuṁ:
Then the Mallas from Kusinārā ordered (their) men, (saying):

“Tena hi bhaṇe Kusinārāyaṁ gandhamālañ-ca,
* “Now, friends, gather together perfume and flowers,

sabbañ-ca tāḷāvacaraṁ sannipātethā.” ti
and all the musicians in Kusinārā.”

Atha kho Kosinārakā Mallā gandhamālañ-ca sabbañ-ca tāḷāvacaraṁ,
* Then the Mallas of Kusinārā, having taken perfumes and garlands, and all the musicians,

pañca ca dussayugasatāni ādāya,
and five-hundred pairs of clothes,

yena Upavattanaṁ Mallānaṁ Sālavanaṁ,
approached the Mallas' Sal Wood at Upavattana,

yena Bhagavato sarīraṁ tenupasaṅkamiṁsu,
and the Gracious One's body,

upasaṅkamitvā Bhagavato sarīraṁ,
after approaching the Gracious One's body,

naccehi gītehi vāditehi mālehi gandhehi,
* through honouring, respecting, revering, and worshipping (the body),

sakkarontā garukarontā mānentā pūjentā,
with dance, song, music, garlands, and perfumes,

celavitānāni karontā maṇḍalamāle paṭiyādentā,
and making cloth canopies, and preparing circular pavillions,

evaṁ taṁ divasaṁ vītināmesuṁ.
they made the day pass.

Atha kho Kosinārakānaṁ Mallānaṁ etad-ahosi:
Then this occurred to the Mallas of Kusinārā:

“Ativikālo kho ajja Bhagavato sarīraṁ jhāpetuṁ,
“Today it is too late to burn the Gracious One's body,

svedāni mayaṁ Bhagavato sarīraṁ jhāpessāmā.” ti
tomorrow we will burn the Gracious One's body.”

Atha kho Kosinārakā Mallā
Then the Mallas of Kusinārā,

Bhagavato sarīraṁ naccehi gītehi vāditehi mālehi gandhehi,
* through honouring, respecting, revering, and worshipping the Gracious One's body,

sakkarontā garukarontā mānentā pūjentā,
with dance, song, music, garlands, and perfumes,

celavitānāni karontā maṇḍalamāle paṭiyādentā,
and making cloth canopies, and preparing circular pavillions,

dutiyam-pi divasaṁ vītināmesuṁ,
they made the second day pass,

tatiyam-pi divasaṁ vītināmesuṁ,
they made the third day pass,

catuttham-pi divasaṁ vītināmesuṁ,
they made the fourth day pass,

pañcamam-pi divasaṁ vītināmesuṁ,
they made the fifth day pass,

chaṭṭham-pi divasaṁ vītināmesuṁ.
they made the sixth day pass. Although this looks like a repetition passage, no ellipsis is marked in any of the editions.01

Atha kho sattamam-pi divasaṁ Kosinārakānaṁ Mallānaṁ etad-ahosi:
Then on the seventh day this occurred to the Mallas of Kusinārā:

“Mayaṁ Bhagavato sarīraṁ naccehi gītehi vāditehi mālehi gandhehi
* “While honouring, respecting, revering, and worshipping the Gracious One's body,

sakkarontā garukarontā mānentā pūjentā,
with dance, song, music, garlands, and perfumes,

dakkhiṇena dakkhiṇaṁ Nagarassa haritvā,
after taking it out of the city by the South,

bāhirena bāhiraṁ dakkhiṇato Nagarassa Bhagavato sarīraṁ jhāpessāmā.” ti
on the outside of the City to the South we will burn the Gracious One's body.”

Tena kho pana samayena aṭṭha Mallapāmokkhā,
Now at that time eight leaders of the Mallas,

sīsaṁ nahātā ahatāni vatthāni nivatthā:
having washed their heads and put on clean clothes, (said):

“Mayaṁ Bhagavato sarīraṁ uccāressāmā,” ti na sakkonti uccāretuṁ.
“Let us lift the Gracious One's body,” but they were not able to lift (it).

Atha kho Kosinārakā Mallā āyasmantaṁ Anuruddhaṁ etad-avocuṁ:
Then the Mallas of Kusinārā said this to venerable Anuruddha:

“Ko nu kho Bhante Anuruddha hetu ko paccayo
“What is the reason, Anuruddha, what is the cause

yenime aṭṭha Mallapāmokkhā sīsaṁ nahātā ahatāni vatthāni nivatthā:
why eight leaders of the Mallas, having washed their heads and put on clean clothes, (and saying):

‘Mayaṁ Bhagavato sarīraṁ uccāressāmā,’ ti na sakkonti uccāretun?”-ti
‘Let us lift the Gracious One's body,’ are not able to lift (it)?”

“Aññathā kho Vāseṭṭhā tumhākaṁ adhippāyo aññathā Devatānaṁ adhippāyo.” ti
“You Vāseṭṭhas have one intention, and the Divinities have another intention.”

“Kathaṁ pana Bhante Devatānaṁ adhippāyo.” ti
“But what is the Divinities' intention, reverend Sir?”

“Tumhākaṁ kho Vāseṭṭhā adhippāyo:
“Your intention, Vāseṭṭhas, is:

‘Mayaṁ Bhagavato sarīraṁ naccehi gītehi vāditehi mālehi gandhehi,
* ‘We, while honouring, respecting, revering, and worshipping the Gracious One's body,

sakkarontā garukarontā mānentā pūjentā,
with dance, song, music, garlands, and perfumes,

dakkhiṇena dakkhiṇaṁ Nagarassa haritvā,
after taking it out of the City by the South,

bāhirena bāhiraṁ dakkhiṇato Nagarassa Bhagavato sarīraṁ jhāpessāmā.’ ti
on the outside of the City to the South, will burn the Gracious One's body.’

Devatānaṁ kho Vāseṭṭhā adhippāyo:
* The Divinities' intention, Vāseṭṭhas, is:

‘Mayaṁ Bhagavato sarīraṁ dibbehi naccehi gītehi vāditehi mālehi gandhehi,
‘We, while honouring, respecting, revering, and worshipping the Gracious One's body,

sakkarontā garukarontā mānentā pūjentā,
with the Divinities' dance, song, music, garlands, and perfumes,

uttarena uttaraṁ Nagarassa haritvā,
after carrying it to the North of the City by the North,

Uttarena Dvārena Nagaraṁ pavesetvā,
and re-entering the City by the North Gate,

majjhena majjhaṁ Nagarassa haritvā,
and carrying it to the middle of the City by the middle,

Puratthimena Dvārena nikkhamitvā,
and going out by the Eastern Gate,

puratthimato Nagarassa Makuṭabandhanaṁ nāma Mallānaṁ Cetiyaṁ,
to the East of the City, at the Mallas' Shrine called the Bonded Coronet,

ettha Bhagavato sarīraṁ jhāpessāmā.” ti
there let us burn the Gracious One's body.”

“Yathā Bhante Devatānaṁ adhippāyo tathā hotū.” ti
“Let us do according to the Divinities' intention, reverend Sir.”

* * *

Tena kho pana samayena Kusinārā yāva sandhisamalasaṅkaṭīrā,
* Now at that time the whole of Kusinārā, including the dirty rubbish heaps,

jaṇṇumattena odhinā Mandāravapupphehi santhatā hoti.
was covered knee-deep with (Divine) Coral Tree flowers.

 

Atha kho Devatā ca Kosinārakā ca Mallā
Then the Divinities and the Mallas of Kusinārā

Bhagavato sarīraṁ Dibbehi ca mānusakehi ca naccehi gītehi vāditehi mālehi gandhehi
* while honouring, respecting, revering, and worshipping the Gracious One's body

sakkarontā garukarontā mānentā pūjentā,
with the Divinities' and mens' dance, song, music, garlands, and perfumes,

uttarena uttaraṁ Nagarassa haritvā,
after carrying it to the North of the City by the North,

Uttarena Dvārena Nagaraṁ pavesetvā,
and re-entering the City by the North Gate,

majjhena majjhaṁ Nagarassa haritvā,
and carrying it to the middle of the City by the middle,

Puratthimena Dvārena nikkhamitvā,
and going out by the Eastern Gate,

puratthimato Nagarassa Makuṭabandhanaṁ nāma Mallānaṁ Cetiyaṁ
to the East of the City, at the Mallas' Shrine called the Bonded Coronet

ettha Bhagavato sarīraṁ nikkhipiṁsu.
there set down the Gracious One's body.

 

Atha kho Kosinārakā Mallā āyasmantaṁ Ānandaṁ etad-avocuṁ:
Then the Mallas of Kusinārā said this to venerable Ānanda:

“Kathaṁ mayaṁ Bhante Ānanda Tathāgatassa sarīre paṭipajjāmā.” ti
“How do we act, reverend Ānanda, in regard to the Realised One's body?”

“Yathā kho Vāseṭṭhā Rañño Cakkavattissa sarīre paṭipajjanti,
“As you act, Vāseṭṭhas, in regard to the Universal Monarch's body,

evaṁ Tathāgatassa sarīre paṭipajjitabban.”-ti
so you should act in regard to the Realised One's body.”

“Kathaṁ pana Bhante Ānanda Rañño Cakkavattissa sarīre paṭipajjantī.” ti
“But how do we act, reverend Ānanda, in regard to the Universal Monarch's body?”

“Rañño Vāseṭṭhā Cakkavattissa sarīraṁ ahatena vatthena veṭhenti,
“They wrap the Universal Monarch's body, Vāseṭṭhas, with clean cloth,

ahatena vatthena veṭhetvā vihatena kappāsena veṭhenti,
and after wrapping with clean cloth, they wrap with carded cotton,

vihatena kappāsena veṭhetvā ahatena vatthena veṭhenti,
and after wrapping with carded cotton, they wrap with clean cloth,

etena upāyena pañcahi yugasatehi Rañño Cakkavattissa sarīraṁ veṭhetvā
by this means after wrapping the Universal Monarch's body with five-hundred pairs (of cloth and cotton),

āyasāya teladoṇiyā pakkhipitvā, aññissā āyasāya doṇiyā paṭikkujjitvā,
enclosing it in an oil tub made of iron, and enclosing it in another iron tub,

sabbagandhānaṁ citakaṁ karitvā, Rañño Cakkavattissa sarīraṁ jhāpenti,
and putting it on a scented funeral pyre, they burn the Universal Monarch's body,

cātummahāpathe Rañño Cakkavattissa thūpaṁ karonti.
and they build a Shrine for the Universal Monarch at the crossroads.

Evaṁ kho Vāseṭṭhā Rañño Cakkavattissa sarīre paṭipajjanti.
So they act, Vāseṭṭhas, in regard to a Universal Monarch's body.

Yathā kho Vāseṭṭhā Rañño Cakkavattissa sarīre paṭipajjanti,
Just as they act, Vāseṭṭhas, in regard to a Universal Monarch's body,

evaṁ Tathāgatassa sarīre paṭipajjitabbaṁ,
so should they act in regard to a Realised One's body,

cātummahāpathe Tathāgatassa thūpo kātabbo.
and a Shrine should be made for the Realised One at the crossroads.

Tattha ye mālaṁ vā gandhaṁ vā cuṇṇakaṁ vā āropessanti vā
Whoever there prepares flowers, incense, or powder, or

abhivādessanti vā cittaṁ vā pasādessanti,
worships or establishes confidence in his mind,

tesaṁ taṁ bhavissati dīgharattaṁ hitāya sukhāyā.” ti
that will be for their benefit and happiness for a long time.”

 

Atha kho Kosinārakā Mallā purise āṇāpesuṁ:
Then the Mallas of Kusinārā gave orders to (their) men, (saying):

“Tena hi bhaṇe Mallānaṁ vihataṁ kappāsaṁ sannipātethā.” ti
“If it is so (then) wrap (the body) with the Mallas' carded cloth, friends.”

Atha kho Kosinārakā Mallā Bhagavato sarīraṁ ahatena vatthena veṭhesuṁ,
Then the Mallas of Kusinārā wrapped the Gracious One's body with clean cloth,

ahatena vatthena veṭhetvā vihatena kappāsena veṭhesuṁ,
and after wrapping with clean cloth, they wrapped with carded cotton,

vihatena kappāsena veṭhetvā ahatena vatthena veṭhesuṁ
and after wrapping with carded cotton, they wrapped with clean cloth,

etena upāyena pañcahi yugasatehi Bhagavato sarīraṁ veṭhetvā,
and by this means, after wrapping the Gracious One's body with five-hundred pairs (of cloth and cotton),

āyasāya teladoṇiyā pakkhipitvā, aññissā āyasāya doṇiyā paṭikkujjitvā,
enclosing it in an oil tub made of iron, and enclosing it in another iron tub,

sabbagandhānaṁ citakaṁ karitvā, Bhagavato sarīraṁ citakaṁ āropesuṁ.
and putting it on a scented funeral pyre, they put the Gracious One's body on the funeral pyre.