Buddha’s life wasn’t without
disappointments. His cousin, Devadatta,
was an ambitious man. As a convert and monk, he felt that he
have greater power in the Sangha. He managed to influence
a few monks with a call to a return to extreme asceticism. Eventually,
he conspired with a local king to have the Buddha killed and to take
the Buddhist community. Of course, he failed.
Buddha had achieved his enlightenment at the age of 35. He would teach throughout northeast India for another 45 years. When the Buddha was 80 years old, he told his friend and cousin Ananda that he would be leaving them soon. And so it came to be that in Kushinagara, not a hundred miles from his homeland, he ate some spoiled food and became very ill. He went into a deep meditation under a grove of sala trees and died. His last words were...