Shakyamuni Goes to the Abode of His Father the King to Observe the King’s Illness
The Buddha was at Rajagrha on Vulture Peak, as radiant as the day. At that time, Suddhodhana’s four great elements were suffering. His being such that he was unable to catch his breath; among various treatments no procedure could cure him. Informing all those around him, the king said, “Although today I pass away, I am not saddened; however, I regret that I have not seen all of my sons.” The Thus-Come One knowing that his father the king was about to die, and that he wanted to see all of his sons, informed Ananda, “Suddhodhana is my honorable father, who was able to bear a divine son who has benefited the world; now it is befitting that I call on him who raised and nurtured me to pay my debt of gratitude.” The World-Honored One released a great radiance, the light illuminating the king’s body and the suffering (king) had peace. The king said, “What radiance is this? Perhaps it indicates that all of my sons will come!” The king seeing the Buddha coming said, “I only hope that his hand touches my body, causing me to be at peace. Today I will get to see the World-Honored One, and all pain and regret will be eliminated.” The Buddha then with his hand and touched his father the king on the forehead, “King, you should be joyful, you should not be vexed or worried because you have always attentively contemplated the methods and significance of the scriptures.” When the king heard this, the happiness he himself could not bear, so with his hand he grasped the Buddha’s hand and touched it to his heart. Whereupon as the king lay, he joined his palms together in reverence, and his life ended, his last breath cut off.
The Buddha declared to the multitude, “My father Suddhodhana, having abandoned this body, has been born into the Five Heavens of Purity.” Upon hearing this, the assembled multitude then eliminated the poison of worry beyond all thought or description.