When the Blessed One had passed away, simultaneously with his Parinibbana,
Brahma Sahampati (who originally requested the newly enlightened Buddha to teach the Dhamma to the world) spoke thus:
All must depart — all beings that have life
Must shed their compound forms. Yea, even one,
A Master such as he, a peerless being,
Powerful in wisdom, the Enlightened One, has passed away.
Sakka (the king of the gods in the Tavatimsa heaven) spoke:
Transient are all compounded things,
Subject to arise and vanish;
Having come into existence they pass away;
Good is the peace when they forever cease.
The Venerable Anuruddha spoke:
No movement of the breath, but with steadfast heart,
Free from desires and tranquil — so the sage
Comes to his end. By mortal pangs unshaken,
His mind, like a flame extinguished, finds release.
The Venerable Ananda spoke this stanza:
Then there was terror, and the hair stood up, when he,
The All-accomplished One, the Buddha, passed away.
Some bhikkhus, not yet freed from passion wept:
"Too soon has the Blessed One come to his Parinibbana! Too soon has the Happy One come to his Parinibbana! Too soon has the Eye of the World vanished from sight!"
But the bhikkhus who were freed from passion, mindful and clearly comprehending, reflected in this way:
"Impermanent are all compounded things. How could this be otherwise?"
The Venerable Anuruddha then addressed the bhikkhus, saying:
"Enough, friends! Do not grieve, do not lament! For has not the Blessed One declared that with all that is dear and beloved there must be change, separation, and severance? Of that which is born, come into being, compounded and subject to decay, how can one say: 'May it not come to dissolution!'? The deities, friends, are aggrieved."
Please also see the plight of Ananda
In truth I say to you that within this fathom-high body, with its thoughts and perceptions, lies the world and the rising of the world and the ceasing of the world and the Way that leads to the extinction of rising and ceasing.
-- Gautam Buddha
What could be grander or more reassuring ? Here is confirmation from the highest source that we are more than this puny body-mind, more than a speck thrown into the vast universe by a capricious fate -- that we are no less than the sun and the moon and the stars and the great earth. Why if we already possess the world in fee simple, do we try to enlarge ourselves through possessions and power? Why are we "alone and afraid in a world I never made," at times self-pitying and mean, at other times arrogant and aggressive?
It is because our image of ourselves and our relation to the world is a false one. We are deceived by our limited five senses which convey to us a picture of a dualistic world of self-and-other, of things separated and isolated, of pain and struggle, birth and extinction, killed and being killed.
For if we could see beyond the everchanging forms into the underlying reality, we would realize in essence there is nothing but harmony and unity and stability, and that this perfection is no different from the phenomenal world of incessant change and transformation.
Be Unclutched - Be Free
Your entire belief in rationality and logic is based on the premise that your thinking is sequential and it follows a pattern. This is a lie.
The buddhists say that the mind is a monkey. That's very true. Your thoughts are not sequential. Your thoughts are independent of each other. They are not connected. They are illogical and irrational. They are like the bubbles in a fish tank which appear connected; but there is no connection between one bubble and another. They are all independent.
Just try this. For a few minutes, truthfully, write down all your thoughts as they occur to you. When you read what you have written again, it will appear to you that what you have written is a madman's diary. Nothing will be connected, nothing will seem logical.
You would have jumped from past to present, from future to past, all with no logical connection whatsoever.
It is only when you link thoughts to one another, when you try and provide a logical and rational sequence to thoughts with the help of your mind, you invite suffering. The pleasurable experiences or painful experiences that you had 10 years ago, five years ago, two years ago and yesterday and today are all independent of each other.
They are unconnected. Yet you try and fit them in a pattern and then expect that pattern to repeat. This expectation leads to disappointment and all suffering.
Each thought that you have comes after another only when you have renounced the first one. Unless you renounce the thought of sitting you cannot stand up. Unless you renounce the thought of standing you can not walk.
This tendency to link thoughts and form a pattern is what creates your value systems and beliefs, your samskaras, the root cause of all your problems.
It is the pattern that the mind weaves and not the ground reality that you experience that drives your life. Connected thoughts are the foundation of all illusions and suffering. Once you drop the connection between thoughts you can go the source of thoughts, the truth of who you are, where you come from.
When you drop the connection between thoughts, you will then realise the futility of that connection except in causing you suffering.
When you realise that thoughts arise in you at random and not in any sequence and are always unconnected, you then drop into the present. You become unclutched, you become free. You then regain your Self.
Editor: this article is highly excerpted from a talk or book of Sri Nithyananda and is typically meant for lay readers.