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‘The Discourse on the Great Decease’, being the sixteenth and longest discourse in the Collection of Long Discourses (Dīgha Nikāya) of the Pāli Canon. The text describes the events leading up to the Buddha's death and his travels during the last few months of his life. The discourse makes reference to an impending war between Magadha andVajjī.and begins with King Ajātaśatru (Pāli, Ajātasattu) dispatching a minister to seek the Buddha's advice. Most of the rest of the text consists of a sustained conversation between the Buddha and Ānanda, and it reiterates much material that occurs in other canonical sources. In the course of the narrative the Buddha predicts the end of his life three months hence, and partakes of the meal which causes a grave illness shortly before his death (see sūkara-maddava). He also states that if he had been requested to do so it was within his power to prolong his life until the end of the aeon. The narrative ends with the Buddha's cremation and the distribution of his relics.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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