ânanda was the son of the Buddha's uncle Amitodana. For the last 35 years of the Buddha's life he was his personal attendant and was also the most widely loved of all his disciples. If Sàriputta personified wisdom and Moggallàna personified psychic ability, then ânanda certainly personified kindness, gentleness, warmth and love. The Buddha praised him for his `acts of love through body, through speech and through mind' (D.II,144), meaning that he was always ready to lend a helping hand, that he always spoke kindly to people and that he always thought well of others. The Buddha even said that he shared some of the very qualities that he himself had Ý that people were delighted to see him, that they were delighted when he taught the Dhamma and they were disappointed when he finished speaking (D.II,145). ânanda had a crucial role in the First Council. Having spent so many years close to the Buddha and remembering many of his discourses, he recited them during the council so that the other participants could commit them to memory and pass them down. It is with ânanda's words, `Thus have I heard' (Evaü me sutaü…), that most suttas begin.