As we have known, Buddha laid the foundation of Buddhism.
Buddha, which means one who is awake, left his followers a great quantity of lessons throughout his life.
It was said that three months before his death, Buddha addressed his disciples saying that he had been with them for forty-five years.
They must learn his sermons, treasure them, practice them and teach them to others because they’ll be of great use for the welfare of the living and for those who would come after.
He urged the monks to be mindful and of pure virtue. For whoever pursues the Teaching untiringly will go beyond the cycle of birth and death, and their suffering will end.
Ananda, his personal assistant, had the courage to ask Buddha what will come of the Order in case the Buddha passed away.
Buddha replied that He had preached the Truth without any distinction; for in regard to the Truth, there is no clenched hand in the Teachings of the Buddha.
He added that some of them might think that the Master’s words will soon end; and that soon they will no longer have a Master.
He assured them by saying not to entertain those kinds of thoughts. Because when he is gone, his Teachings and the disciplinary code shall be their Master.
The Buddha further added that he did not intended to lead the order or thought that the Order is dependent on him. He stressed that he had reached the end of his days and compared his body to a worn-out cart that can only be moved with much additional care.
The Buddha clarified to Ananda that he must be a lamp and refuge unto himself; to look for no other refuge; to let the Truth be their lamp and refuge, and to seek no refuge elsewhere.
On his eightieth birthday, the Buddha passed away, showing no worldly supernatural powers, only the real nature of material things even in His own life.
One of his disciples remarked:
“All must depart—all beings that have life must shed their compounded forms. Yes, even a Master such as He, a peerless being, powerful in Wisdom and Enlightenment, even He must pass away.”
The last message of the Buddha:
“When I am gone, my Teaching shall be your Master and Guide.”
Finally, his parting words were his last lesson:
“Appamadena Sampadetha Vaya Dhamma Sankhara.”
“WORK DILIGENTLY. MATERIAL THINGS ARE IMPERMANENT.”
Source : buddhanet.net