The Last Meal of the Buddha
Posted on June 16th, 2013


There are a few misleading facts which the Brahmins spread, to bring discredit to Buddha’s Vision, which was the greatest threat to them. They succeeded in their endeavor since Buddhism is now scarce in a country where it was born. But, as Buddhists, it is our duty to clear the misleading facts even as late as today.

The most notable is the misinterpretation regarding our Great Buddha’s last meal. The widely spread impression is that he died of eating a pork curry, which is totally false. In Kiran Desai’s year 2006 Booker Prize winning novel, “The inheritance of Loss”, she writes that Buddha died of eating pork in greed. This is what the ordinary people think. This is what the Brahmins led people to believe. This is what made so many ignorant Buddhists convert to other religions.

The first mix up comes with the name of the person who gave the last meal “ƒ”¹…”Chunda’ with that of the man who slaughtered pigs and sold the meat and died screaming like one during our Great Buddha’s time. Here, people tend to forget that the man was already dead before our Great Buddha attained “Parinirvana”.

The person who gave our Great Buddha his last meal was a wealthy jeweller named “Chunda Karmaaraputta” in whose leisure garden at Pawa that our Great Buddha stopped for the night, on his way to Kusinara.

Three months before his death, our Great Buddha told his disciples that he would attain “Parinirvana” on the Wesak Poya day in Kusinara. He was ailing from a stomach problem since six months before and his weak state and old age must have led to this decision. It was because of this illness that Chunda Karmaaraputta prepared a special medicinal curry under the supervision of the eminent physician at the time, Athula, which our Great Buddha partook.

This special medicinal curry was called “Sukara Maddawa” in Pali language.

The other mix up is regarding the word “Sukara”. The meaning of the single word “Sukara” is hog or pig. Therefore, Brahmins made-up the story that it was a pork curry.

Usually, as we very well know, patients with stomach problems are not given meat, specially pork because it is difficult to digest.

On the other hand, Indian high society at the time abhorred pork & beef. The three high castes, “Kshathri” (Rulers), “Brahmin” (Educators, intellectuals & farmers) and “Vaishya” (Traders) were all vegetarians.

A person like the wealthy “Chunda Karmaaraputta” undoubtedly a vegetarian would have never served a meat curry, especially pork which was considered very lowly in their society, to the ailing Buddha.

In Nepal and the nearby Ghorakpur District(Pawa and Kusinara belong to the Ghorakpur District) in India, people still have and eat a type of mushrooms called “Sukara Maddawa” (mushrooms spring up in places where pigs have muddied and added their dirt to the soil). There are also “Aja Maddawa” (mushrooms spring up in places where goats have muddied and added their dirt to the soil), “Gomaddawa” (mushrooms spring up in places where cows have muddied and added their dirt to the soil) and “Beluwa Maddawa” (mushrooms spring up on the roots of the cut bamboo trees), which are edible.

According to great pundits like the Most Venerable Achchuthananda Thero of Kusinara, the Most Venerable Buddhamitta Thero, the Most Venerable Amruthananda Thero of Kathmandu, the Most Venerable Lumbini Maithree Thero and others, “Sukara Maddawa” is a soft and easily digested food given to patients with stomach problems in Nepal made out of those mushrooms. They use it at present day too.

There is also a type of mushrooms like small yams which have a high medicinal value, specially for stomach problems called “Sukar bun” which are dug by hogs. In Western countries they call these “ƒ”¹…”Hog Mushrooms’.

This type of mushrooms are very rare and very expensive. They are used to prevent High Blood Pressure, diabetic, cancer and weak eye sight.

All these evidence lead to the fact that the Buddha ate a medicinal mushroom curry, not a pork curry.

We recommend you to read the book “The Last Meal of the Buddha” by Dr. Sunil Jayasinghe for more details.


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