Cunda: the Beginnings of Lay Buddhism

Valid Literature

published in Ancient History Encyclopedia on 01 December 2016

The frail Buddha Shakyamuni, known as Gautama Buddha and

the Historical Buddha, had reached the end of his physical life

and long teaching career. He and his close disciples decided

on his final resting place under the twin sala trees in Kushinagar,

the republic of Malla in North Eastern Ancient India. There he lay

on his side surrounded by many dignitaries and enlightened monks

who had gathered to say farewell to him, (c. 563 or 480 BCE).

Among them, there was a deeply devoted lay follower named Cunda (Chunda).

He was the son of a blacksmith from the nearby area of Kushinagara

castle who had come of his own accord to pay his respects to the

great Buddha, bringing with him 15 of his friends.

To show his devotion, Chunda had discarded his daily work clothes

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