The Pilgrim Kamanita

My lack of strength did not admit of our undertaking long daily journeys, and made it necessary sometimes to take a day for rest, so that only after a pilgrimage of a month did we arrive in Vesali, where, as we knew, the Master had made a considerable stay, but whence he had been gone about six weeks. A short time before we had learned, in a village in which lived pious followers of the doctrine, that Sariputta and Moggallana had entered into Nirvana. The thought that these two great disciples–the chiefs of the doctrine, as we named them–no longer dwelt on earth, moved me deeply. Of course we all knew well that these great ones, as even the Buddha himself, were merely human beings just as we, but the idea that they could leave us had never arisen in our minds. Sariputta, who had so often in his deliberate way solved difficult questions of doctrine for me, had passed away.