ANANDA, one of the principal disciples of the Buddha.
Both he and his brother Ananda, who were considerably younger than the Buddha, joined the brotherhood in the twentieth year of the Buddha's ministry.
Ananda entered the Order in the second year of the Buddha's ministry, and became one of his personal attendants, accompanying him on most of his wanderings and being the interlocutor in many of the recorded dialogues.
Xiv.) where each of them is declared to be the chief in some gift, Ananda is mentioned five times (which is more often than any other), but it is as chief in conduct and in service to others and in power of memory, not in any of the intellectual powers so highly prized in the community.
Thirty-three verses ascribed to Ananda are preserved in a collection of lyrics by the principal male and female members of the order (Thera Gatha, 1017-1050).
In the twentieth year his cousin Ananda became a mendicant, and from that time seems to have attended on the Buddha, being constantly near him, and delighting to render him all the personal service which love and reverence could suggest.
He had not gone far when he was obliged to rest, and soon afterwards he said, "Ananda, I am thirsty," and they gave him water to drink.
Feeling that he was dying, and careful lest Chunda should be reproached by himself or others, he said to Ananda, "After I am gone tell Chunda that he will receive in a future birth very great reward; for, having eaten of the food he gave me, I am about to die; and if he should still doubt, say that it was from my own mouth that you heard this.
Lying down under some Sal trees, with his face towards the south, he talked long and earnestly with Ananda about his burial, and about certain rules which were to be observed by the society after his death.
Towards the end of this conversation, when it was evening, Ananda broke down and went aside to weep, but the Buddha missed him, and sending for him comforted him with the promise of Nirvana, and repeated what he had so often said before about the impermanence of all things, - "0 Ananda!
Beloved," added he, speaking to the rest of the disciples, "Ananda for long years has served me with devoted affection."
About midnight Subhadra, a brahmin philosopher of Kusinara, came to ask some questions of the Buddha, but Ananda, fearing that this might lead to a longer discussion than the sick teacher could bear, would not admit him.
Towards the morning he asked whether any one had any doubt about the Buddha, the law or the society; if so, he would clear them up. No one answered, and Ananda expressed his surprise that amongst so many none should doubt, and all be firmly attached to the law.