When the middle watch of the night had passed, Ānanda once again requested that the Buddha exchange greetings with the visiting mendicants. But the Buddha again remained silent and unmoving.
Ānanda repeated himself for a third time, when the third and final watch of the night had passed. Dawn was breaking, and the beauty of the night was a joy to behold.
At that moment, the Buddha finally emerged from his imperturbable absorption and replied thus to Ānanda:
Fully understanding the matter, the Buddha then uttered this inspired utterance on that occasion: