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Once the Blessed One was dwelling in the Vajji country, at Ukkacela on the bank of the river Ganges, not long after Sariputta and Maha Moggallana had passed away. And at that time the Blessed One was seated in the open, surrounded by company of monks.
The Blessed One surveyed the silent gathering of monks, and then spoke to them, saying:
“This assembly, O bhikkhus, appears indeed empty to me, now that Sariputta and Maha Moggallana have passed away. Not empty, for me, is an assembly, nor need I have concern for a place where Sariputta and Maha Moggallana dwell.
“Those who in the past have been Holy Ones. Fully enlightened Ones, those Blessed Ones, too, had such excellent pairs of disciples as I had in Sariputta and Maha Moggallana. Those who in the future will be Holy Ones, fully Enlightened Ones, those Blessed Ones too will have such excellent pairs of disciples as I had in Sariputta and Maha Moggallana.
“Marvelous it is, most wonderful it is, bhikkhus, concerning those disciples, that they will act in accordance with the Master's Dispensation, will act in according to his advice; that they will be dear to the four Assemblies, will be loved, respected and honored by them. Marvelous it is, most wonderful it is, bhikkhus, concerning the Perfect Ones, that when such a pair of disciples has passed away there is no grief, no lamentation on the part of the Perfect One.
“For of that which is born, come to being, put together, and so is subject to dissolution, how should it be said that it should not depart? That indeed, is not possible.
”Therefore, bhikkhus, be ye an island unto yourselves, a refuge unto yourselves, seeking no external refuge; with the Teaching as your island, the Teaching your refuge, seeking no other refuge.”