17. BUDDHA SENDING OUT A MISSION OF SIXTY ARAHANTS
After the Buddha had kept his retreat at the Deer Park at Isipatana during the first rainy season, there were fully sixty Arahants besides the Blessed One. He called them and said. "Released am 1, 0 Bhikkhus, from fetters both human and divine. Ye also are free from fetters both human and divine. Go ye, now 0 Bhikkhus, and wander for the gain of the many, for the good of the many, for the gain and welfare of gods and men. Preach, 0 Bhikkhus, the doctrine which is glorious in the beginning, glorious in the middle, glorious at the end, in spirit and in letter. Proclaim the Holy Life altogether perfect and pure. There are beings with a little dust in their eyes, who, not hearing the Doctrine will fall away. There will be those who will understand the Doctrine". With this exhortation the Buddha despatched His first sixty disciples in various directions.