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The First Converts

The Blessed One tarried in solitude seven times seven

days, enjoying the bliss of emancipation.

At that time Tapussa and Bhallika, two merchants, came

traveling on the road near by, and when they saw the

great samana, majestic and full of peace, they approached

him respectfully and offered him rice cakes and honey.

This was the first food that the Enlightened One ate after

he attained Buddhahood.

And the Buddha addressed them and pointed out to them

the way of salvation. The two merchants, conceiving in

their minds the holiness of the conqueror of Mara, bowed

down in reverence and said: "We take our refuge, Lord,

in the Blessed One and in the Dharma."

Tapussa and Bhallika were the first that became followers

of the Buddha and they were lay disciples.