Ananda was the Buddha’s faithful attendant. He was treasurer of the Doctrine and he was most efficient in the performance of numerous duties-he waited on the Buddha, followed him like a shadow, brought him water and tooth-wood, washed his feet, accompanied him everywhere, swept his cell and so forth.Ananda was born on the same day as the Buddha; he asked the Buddha to allow Mahapajapati Gotami, the widowed stepmother of the Buddha to enter the Order. This was the beginning of the Women’s Order in Buddhism.Because of his virtues the Buddha ranked him as the foremost monk in five respects:
2. retentive memory
3. good behaviour
4. steadfastness and
5. ministering care.
And he was appointed to recite the Suttanta Pitaka during the First Gengeral Council of the Sangha after the Buddha’s complete passing away.Ananda was born into the Sakyan family, a son of Sukkudana and Queen Kisagotami. When Ananda grew up, he was educated in the military arts and traditions of the time.After he completed his studies, he helped his father and mother in several activities and duties. After Mahakassapa Thera had joined the Order, the Buddha remained at Rajagaha for a few months. That rumour spread far and wide.
When king Suddhodana heard that his son had attained Enlightenment and was t that time preaching his doctrine at Rajagaha, he sent a courtier with one thousand men to invite him to Kapilavatthu. But they all became Arahants as soon as the heard the Buddha’s teaching and they failed in giving the King’s invitation to the Buddha. So the King sent another courtier with one thousand men and they were all ordained as before. This happened nine times. At last, the King sent Kala dayi, a minister who later became an Arahant and joined the Order.
Now Kaludayi saw that it was time to give the King’s invitation to the Buddha, so he informed the Buddha of his mission.The Buddha set out for Kapilavatthu with a great company of Arhants. After the Buddha had arrived at Kapilvatthu, he stayed in the Nigrodha Park for sixty days.
Before the Buddha gave his sermon to the Sakyans, he made them believe in his Enlightenment. His relatives became his disciples, while King Suddhodana, his father, became a Anagami or non-returner.
While the Buddha was dwelling at Anupiya Mango Grove, Ananda entered the Order together with other Sakyan princes, e.g. Bhaddiya, Anurudha, Bhagu, Kimbila and Devadatta with their barber, Upali. Ordination was given by the Buddha himself.
Soon after Ananda heard a discourse by Venerable Punnamantaniputta, he became a Sotapanna or Stream enterer.
During the first twenty years after Enlightenment, the Buddha was attended upon by various Bhikkhus at different times, such as Nagasamala, Ngita, Upavana, Sunakkhatta, the Novice Cunda, Sagita, Radha and Meghiya.
One day, the Buddha decleared that he was advance in year and desired to have somebody was his permanent attendant ,But Ananda then offered his services under eight conditions:
1. if the Buddha received a find robe, he must not give it to him
2. he should not take food given by the Buddha.
3. he should not dwell in the Buddha’s lodging.
4. if the Buddha received a personal invitation, he must not take him in the invitation.
Apart from the four negative blessings, Ananda asked the Buddha to grant four positive ones:
1. the Buddha must agree to go to a place where he had accepted the invitation.
2. if people from far away came to see the Buddha, he should be able to bring them to him,
3. whenever he had any dout in the Dhamma, he should be able to ask the Buddha.
4. whatever teaching the Buddha taught in his absence, the Buddha was to repeat it to him.
If these conditions were not granted, he said, some would ask what was the advantage of such service. Only if these privileges were allowed him would people trust him and realize that the Buddha had real regard for him. The Buddha agreed to his eight conditions.
Henceforth, for a twenty-five years, Ananda waited on the Buddha, followed him like a shadow, brought him water and tooth wood, washed his feet, accompanied him everywhere, swept his cell and so on.
Ananda was most efficient in the performance of numerous duties. Whenever the Buddha wished to summon the monks or to send a message to anyone, it was to Ananda that he entrusted the task.
When Ananda heard any news and interesting thoughts, he always reported them to the Buddha.Ananda lived to be very old and when he passed away. He was one hundred and twenty year old. But before the time of his expiration, he went to the Rohini River which was the boundary between Kapilavatthu and the Koliyan state. He preached to the two parties of his relatives and people the state of Tejokasina in the middle of the Rohini River, and his body went up in flames. The two parties of his relatives divided his remains into two portions. They built Stups to enshrine them, one for Kapilavatthu, another for the Koliya state.