51. DONA, THE PROFESSOR, DISTRIBUTING THE SACRED RELICS OF THE BUDDHA TO THE RULERS OF EIGHT STATES
Just before the Buddha passed away, he made a resolute wish that, "the bones of my body may be left over as relics in small bits" so that posterity may reverence them. Ajatasattu and other rulers heard of the Buddha's death and came out with their own armies to fight for the possession of the sacred relics of the Buddha, if they should fail to get them by peaceful means. Dona the Brahmin was a virtuous professor who happened to have been a teacher of those rulers.
There was a great excitement and disorder amongst the crowds present who were preparing to loot the relics. Now Professor Dona got up on an eminence and shouted at the crowd in an authoritative tone, when the din was silenced. Then he spoke to the crowd beginning with the words, "Listen to me, your teacher. Our Lord, the Buddha, used to preach on forbearance". Then as agreed by the rulers of the eight states, the Professor distributed the sacred relics to them. They took the relics away and placed them inside pagodas and shrines and revered them as objects of worship.