During the first year after word of the Buddha’s death spread, his followers grieved heavily at the passing of their leader. Among one group of grieving devotees, an elder monk spoke to them saying: “While the Buddha was with us, we couldn't do this and we couldn't do that. Our lives were very restricted. Now that he is away, we can do whatever we want! Why should you feel sad?" Mahakasyapa, one of the Buddha’s most senior and respected monks, overheard that comment. Alarmed that the Buddha’s teachings could become corrupted or, worse still, become completely forgotten, he he called for a gathering of the five hundred monks to recollect, from memory, Buddha's teachings. This was the First Buddhist Council.
That original group established this method for reconstructing and recording the Buddha’s teachings: Ananda, the personal attendant to the Buddha and the monk closest to the Buddha, was selected become the primary source of this information. He would recite a teaching or recall a story told by the Buddha. Then, the monks present would consider whether it was in the spirit of the Buddha’s teachings, making corrections and clarifications before it was accepted. This process was intentional and labor intensive in order to assure authenticity and produced the Agama Sutra, the first recorded teachings of the Buddha. Initially the sutra was oral having been committed to memory by monks skilled in memorization and recitation. Eventually, these original teachings came to be written down and called the Agama Sutra.