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October 12, 2010 | History

Ananda

Ānanda was one of many principal disciples and a devout attendant of the Buddha. Amongst the Buddha's many disciples, Ānanda had the most retentive memory and most of the suttas in the Sutta Pitaka are attributed to his recollection of the Buddha's teachings during the First Buddhist Council. For that, he was known as the Guardian of the Dharma.
According to the Buddha every Buddha in the past and to come will have two chief disciples and one attendant during his ministry. In the case of Gautama Buddha the pair of disciples were Sariputta and Mahamoggallana and the attendant Ānanda.
The word 'Ānanda' means 'bliss' in Pali, Sanskrit as well as other Indian languages. It is a popular Buddhist and Hindu name.

In the Kannakatthala Sutta (MN 90), Ananda is identified with the meaning of his name:
Then King Pasenadi Kosala said to the Blessed One, "Lord, what is the name of this monk?"
"His name is Ananda, great king."
"What a joy he is! What a true joy!..."

Ānanda was the first cousin of the Buddha by their fathers, and was devoted to him. In the twentieth year of the Buddha's ministry, he became the Buddha's personal attendant, accompanying him on most of his wanderings and taking the part of interlocutor in many of the recorded dialogues. He is the subject of a special panegyric delivered by the Buddha just before the Buddha's Parinibbana (the Mahaparinibbana Sutta (DN 16)); it is a panegyric for a man who is kindly, unselfish, popular, and thoughtful toward others.

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October 12, 2010 Edited by 84.58.150.178 Edited without comment.
October 12, 2010 Created by 84.58.150.178 Edited without comment.