Like a Shadow That Never Departs

The Story of Ananda: Buddha’s Chief-of-Staff

by Randall K. Scott



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 12/1/2021

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 5.5x8.5
Page Count : 222
ISBN : 9781663230430
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 222
ISBN : 9781663230447

About the Book

“Like a shadow that does not depart” is the exciting biography of Ananda, Buddha’s attendant during the last 25 years of his life. In an age before writing, Ananda heard and memorized all of Buddha’s estimated 84,000 sermons and 15,000 stanzas without omitting a syllable. He also strongly advocated a Buddhist order of nuns, which Buddha approved. Although Ananda did not become enlightened until Buddha’s parinirvanization, he was de facto Chief-of-Staff for Buddha. Ananda scheduled Buddha’s appointments, so he exerted enormous power over who could see Buddha, even the senior enlightened arhats, who technically out-ranked Ananda. Ananda implemented important organizational changes in the sangha as it grew; thereby giving Buddha a planned, structured system for his travels and sermons. He was Buddha’s constant shadow. He ministered to Buddha’s needs. He set up Buddha’s camp when the sangha was traveling. He guarded Buddha with his ever-present staff. Ananda was one of Buddha’s pivotal disciples. Without his incredible photographic memory and methodical approach, it is questionable whether Buddhism would have grown into a major religion.

About the Author

Randall K. Scott has been a practicing Buddhist for fifteen years. He taught at the university-level for 40 years and retired in 2020 as Professor and Chair Emeritus. He has numerous scholarly publications, as well as a novel, Ring a Ring of Roses. Supported by extensive references, Dr. Scott brings a fresh, unique approach to this examination of Ananda’s life. The book also includes a brief introduction to Buddhism, the four noble truths, the noble eight-fold path, and a glossary of Buddhist terminology. Dr. Scott, his wife Marc’a, and their miniature schnauzer Archie, live in Alabama. He can be reached at