30. Subhadda, the Last Disciple
it happened that a certain wandering ascetic called Subhadda
was staying near Kusinaga and, hearing that the Buddha was
about to pass away, he resolved to go and see him. Subhadda
had a question he could not resolve and was sure that the
Buddha could answer his question and clear his doubts.
went to the sala tree grove, and asked Venerable Ananda
whether he could see the Buddha. But Venerable Ananda said,
"Enough, friend Subhadda, the Buddha is very weary.
Do not trouble him."
a second and third time Subhadda made his request and for
the second and third time, Venerable Ananda replied in the
the Buddha caught a word or two of the conversation between
Venerable Ananda and Subhadda, and called Venerable Ananda
to him, saying, "Come, Ananda. Do not keep Subhadda
from seeing me. Let him come. Whatever Subhadda may ask
of me, he will ask from a desire for knowledge and not to
annoy me. And whatever I may say in answer to his questions,
that he will quickly understand."
granted, Subhadda approached the Buddha, and after greeting
him, said, "O Gotama, there are many famous religious
teachers who teach other teachings, different from
yours. Have they all, as they claim, discovered the truth?
Or have only some of them discovered the truth while others
O Subhadda," said the Buddha, "You should not
worry about other teachings. Listen to me and pay close
attention to what I say, and I will make known to you the
whatever doctrine or teaching the Noble Eightfold
Path is not found, there will neither be found those who
have become sotapanna, sakadagami, anagami or arahant (four levels of sainthood). But
in those teachings where the Noble Eightfold Path is found,
there also you will find the sotapanna, the sakadagami,
the anagami and the arahant. In this teaching of mine, O
Subhadda, is to be found the Noble Eightfold Path, and in
it alone the sotapanna, the sakadagami, the anagami, and
the arahant are found. In no other schools of religious
teachers can such arya beings (saints) be found. And if only my
disciples live rightly and follow my precepts or training
rules, the world will never be without genuine arahants."
Subhadda asked to be admitted to the order of monks and
the Buddha granted his request. In this way Subhadda became
the very last convert and disciple of the Buddha, just as
Kondanna in the deer park at Benares was the first convert
and disciple forty-five years earlier.
by earnest and diligent effort in following the teaching,
Subhadda very shortly became an arahant.