DN16.23. On Cunda the Smith

Mahaparinibbāna Sutta ("The Great Discourse on the Buddha’s Extinguishment")

When the Buddha had stayed in Bhoganagara as long as he wished, he addressed Ānanda, “Come, Ānanda, let’s go to Pāvā.”

“Yes, sir,” Ānanda replied. Then the Buddha together with a large Saṅgha of mendicants arrived at Pāvā, where he stayed in Cunda the smith’s mango grove.

Cunda heard that the Buddha had arrived and was staying in his mango grove. Then he went to the Buddha, bowed, and sat down to one side. The Buddha educated, encouraged, fired up, and inspired him with a Dhamma talk. Then Cunda said to the Buddha, “Sir, may the Buddha together with the mendicant Saṅgha please accept tomorrow’s meal from me.” The Buddha consented in silence.

Then, knowing that the Buddha had consented, Cunda got up from his seat, bowed, and respectfully circled the Buddha, keeping him on his right, before leaving.

And when the night had passed Cunda had a variety of delicious foods prepared in his own home, and plenty of pork on the turn. Then he had the Buddha informed of the time, saying, “Sir, it’s time. The meal is ready.”

Then the Buddha robed up in the morning and, taking his bowl and robe, went to the home of Cunda together with the mendicant Saṅgha, where he sat on the seat spread out and addressed Cunda, “Cunda, please serve me with the pork on the turn that you’ve prepared. And serve the mendicant Saṅgha with the other foods.”

“Yes, sir,” replied Cunda, and did as he was asked.

Then the Buddha addressed Cunda, “Cunda, any pork on the turn that’s left over, you should bury it in a pond. I don’t see anyone in this world—with its gods, Māras, and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its gods and humans—who could properly digest it except for the Realized One.”

“Yes, sir,” replied Cunda. He did as he was asked, then came back to the Buddha, bowed, and sat down to one side. Then the Buddha educated, encouraged, fired up, and inspired him with a Dhamma talk, after which he got up from his seat and left.

After the Buddha had eaten Cunda’s meal, he fell severely ill with bloody dysentery, struck by dreadful pains, close to death. But he endured with mindfulness and situational awareness, without worrying. Then he addressed Ānanda, “Come, Ānanda, let’s go to Kusinārā.”

“Yes, sir,” Ānanda replied.

I’ve heard that after eating
the meal of Cunda the smith,
the wise one fell severely ill,
with pains, close to death.

A severe sickness attacked the Teacher
who had eaten the pork on the turn.
While still purging the Buddha said:
“I’ll go to the citadel of Kusinārā.”

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