Ep.24 Nibbana Venerable Ananda stands holding the door bolt and cries over the Blessed One Ananda was the Buddha's personal attendant. In terms of their bloodlines, Ananda was related to the Buddha as a younger cousin, as his father was, in ordinary parlance, the younger brother of the Buddha's father. Throughout the time he had served the Buddha, Ananda had accompanied him everywhere, attending to his needs faultlessly. It was for this reason that he had no time to attend to his own practice. All the monks who had ordained with him (except for Devadatta) had become Arahats already, but Ananda had only attained Stream Entry. As the Buddha came closer to passing away, Ananda's duties had increased. He was tired both physically and mentally, and he felt confused. When he heard the Buddha telling the Order about his passing away, Ananda couldn't contain his sadness and sorrow at losing the Buddha, so he stole away from the Buddha's presence, went into a nearby dwelling (vihara), and stood at the door of the building, his hand holding the door bolt, and cried, wailing that he was still only a low-level noble one [had attained only a low level of enlightenment], had not yet attained Arahatship, and here the Buddha, who was both his Teacher and his older cousin, was leaving him. At one time the Buddha said to Ananda, "You are one with merit. Do not be heedless. Not long after I have passed away, you will attain enlightenment." (Venerable Ananda attained enlightenment three months after the Buddha's passing away.) The Buddha gives a teaching to Subhadda the wanderer, leading him to enlightenment, making him the last of the Buddha's direct disciples Before passing away, the Buddha had not appointed any monk to be the leader of the Order after him like leaders of other religions did. None of the monks had asked the Buddha about this, but the Buddha left word with the monks clearly before passing away that no monk should understand that after the Buddha had passed away the religion would have no leader (sasada). The Buddha said to Ananda, "Listen Ananda, the Dhamma (Teaching) and Vinaya (Discipline) that I have explained and established, they are to be your leader after the Tathagata passes away." Then the Buddha gave his final words: Monks, I now warn you. All things that arise in this world are of the nature to decay and pass away. You must all apply yourselves to your tasks for the benefit to yourself and the benefit of others and bring them to completion with heedfulness." After that the Buddha spoke no further words until his passing away at the end of the night of the 15th day of the waxing moon, on the sixth lunar month, or the month of visakha, underneath the twin sal trees in full blossom.