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  1. Here is a story about Buddha's death:

    When the Buddha was eighty years old he thought to himself, "I have done all I can to help others. I have taught them how to live with love and how not to fear anything in life. Now it is time to show them how to leave this world without fear."

    He called his faithful attendant to his side and said, "Ananda, it is time for us to return to Kapilavastu for the last time. I wish to die in the city where I grew up."

    Ananda was grief stricken.

    "O, Lord Buddha," he cried, "please do not leave us. For so many years you have been our guide. What shall we do without you?"

    Then he began to sob bitterly.

    The Buddha answered, "Do not cry, dear Ananda. I have always taught death is a natural part of life. It is nothing to fear. You must understand that, Ananda. And when I am gone, let my teachings be your guide. If you understood them in your heart, you have no more need of me. Come, let us go."

    And so the Buddha and his disciples traveled north. Not far from Kapilavastu they passed through the village of Kushinagar. The Buddha asked them to stop outside the village and rest.

    Then he turned to Ananda and said, "This is where I shall pass away."

    Although this was to be the last day of his life, the Buddha did not stop helping others. An old man from the village asked to see him. The Buddha agreed. He listened to the man's problems and gave him kind words of advice. The man was put at ease and felt happy once again.

    The Buddha went out into the garden and lay down between two trees. His followers gathered around him. Some were crying, but others, their minds completely at peace, looked on silence.

    Then the spoke for the last time. "Remember what I have taught you. Craving and desire are the cause of all unhappiness. Everything sooner or later must change, so do not become attached to anything. Instead devote yourself to purifying your mind and finding true, last happiness."

    The Buddha then turned onto his right side and placed his right hand under his head. He closed his eyes and very peacefully passed away. It was the full moon day of the fourth month.

    After some time, his disciples took his body and placed it on a large funeral pyre. The wood was set on fire and burned for a long time. When the fire finally burned itself out, nothing was left but some ashes and a few bones.

    The different kings who lived in north India all wanted the ashes and bones of the Buddha.

    Each king thought, "I shall build a monument to this great teacher in my kingdom and place the Buddha's remains inside it. This will bring me and my kingdom great honor."

    Since each king wanted the remains, they soon began to quarrel.

    "They are mine," said one.

    "No, they belong to me," said another.

    Finally a wise person said, "The Buddha spent his entire life teaching us how to care for one another. Now, after he has passed away, you foolish people are about to fight over his ashes. Fighting is against everything he taught us. So instead, let us divide his remains equally. Then each of you can build a separate monument to him in your own kingdom."

    The kings saw the wisdom of these words, and stopped their quarreling. They divided the ashes and bones of the Compassionate Teacher among themselves and returned to their kingdoms. There they built monuments to the memory of one who taught and lived the path of peace and wisdom.

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