The last Season of the Rains before the Buddha's demise was spent by him in a little village called Beluva. There a serious illness befell him. But moved by the wish that the monks living in other places should have one last opportunity of seeing him before his death, he suppressed his illness by an effort of will. He rose from his sick bed and sat down at a shady place. There his faithful attendant for many years, the venerable Ananda, approached him and gave vent to his joy at the Master's recovery, saying that he had consoled himself with the thought that the Master would not pass away before he had given instruction concerning the Community of Monks. But the Buddha said, "What is it, Ananda, that the Community of Monks expects from me? The teaching, Ananda, has been proclaimed by me without making any distinction between esoteric and exoteric. The Perfect One knows not the closed fist of secretive teachers in regard to his teaching. Who thinks, 'I shall lead the Community of Monks, and it should follow me,' it is such a one who may wish to give some last instructions concerning the Community of Monks." After a few more words, he made the following solemn utterance which carries a particular emphasis and significance: "Be your own island, Ananda, be your own refuge! Do not take any other refuge! Let the Teaching be your island, let the Teaching be your refuge; do not take any other refuge! And how, Ananda, does a monk take himself as an island, himself as a refuge, is without any other refuge? How is the Teaching his island and refuge, and nothing else? Herein a monk dwells practicing body-contemplation on the body... feeling-contemplation on feelings... mind-contemplation on the mind... mind-object contemplation on mind-objects, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome covetousness and grief concerning the world. In that way, Ananda, will a monk be his own island and refuge, without any other; in that way will he have the Teaching as his island and refuge, and nothing else. And all those, Ananda, who either now or after my death, will dwell being their own island, their own refuge, without any other; having the Teaching as island and refuge, and nothing else. It is they among my monks who will reach the utmost height if they are willing to train themselves. You may, Ananda, also keep in mind this marvelous and wonderful quality of the Perfect One: knowingly arise feelings in the Perfect One, knowingly they continue, knowingly they cease; knowingly arise perceptions in the Perfect One, knowingly they continue, knowingly they cease; knowingly arise thoughts in the Perfect One, knowingly they continue, knowingly they cease. This, Ananda, you may also keep in mind as a marvelous and wonderful quality of the Perfect One."