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(flourished 6th century BC, India) First cousin and disciple of the Buddha. A monk who served as the Buddha's personal attendant, he became known as the beloved disciple. It was Ananda who persuaded the Buddha to allow women to become nuns. By tradition, he was the only intimate disciple of the Buddha who had not attained enlightenment before his master's death; he attained that state just before the first Buddhist Council (c. 544 or 480 BC), when he recited from memory the Sutta Pitaka. He is represented as the author of several Buddhist discourses.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Ananda, visit Britannica.com.
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