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Siddhartha Gautama was born 2500 years ago in a small kingdom in ancient India. His mother Queen Maya was returning to her parents home for the birth of her child, the journey was extremely long for the queen to make so on the way the royal caravan stopped for a rest just by a great forest.
The queen fell into a trance when she entered the trees and she had remembered a strange dream she had the day she formed her child. In the dream a baby elephant had appeared at her side and blessed her with its trunk. Queen Maya was far into the wood when suddenly her birth pains began and then a tree understanding the moment slowly leaned over her to protect her offering its branches for support. The child was born with almost no pain, he was fully conscious with his eyes wide open and he was strong enough to stand on his own two feet, as he took his first steps lotus blossoms grew in his footsteps.
King Suddhodana (his father) named him Siddhattha which means he who brings good. At the reception for his son an unexpected guest arrived he was the revered hermit and astrologer Aseeta who nobody had seen for years. Aseeta told his parents he’ll be the master of the world. Queen Maya felt as though she wouldn’t live to see her son’s destiny fulfilled. A week later queen maya fell very ill and sadly passed away. When Prince Siddhartha grew up he married the Princess Yasodhara and became a great archer & horsemen. The king had given Siddhartha three palaces, one for winter, one for the rainy season and one for the summer to shield his son.
One day Siddhārtha heard a mysterious song, he couldn’t understand where it was coming from, the song was in a language he had never heard before. Siddhartha asked what the song was, the princess said it’s from a far away land and evokes the beauties of a country she knew as a child. Siddhartha felt as though he hadn’t seen all these beautiful places and he wanted to explore the world. Secretly, Siddhartha’s father had prepared everything in advance for him so that nothing he might see will upset or disturb him. Suddenly through the crowd Siddhartha saw something he’d never seen before, the poor old men. He followed them to the village to see how other people were living, many of them were severely ill and dying. The ashes of the dead are put in a basket and put in the river. Siddhartha realised they were just like him and he was like them. He asked his father why he lied to him for so long about the existence of suffering, sickness, poverty, old age and death. The King said he’s lied to him because he loves him. Siddhartha tells his father he wants to remove the curse, he doesn’t want this to happen to his children, but his father wants to stop him.
Siddhartha went to see his wife and his new born son, they were asleep. A magic mist had descended over everything, everyone had fallen into a deep sleep. Siddhartha passes the ascetics who have given up all the comforts of life and have sworn never to leave the forest. The prince wanted to fit in so he gave up his robes and cut his hair to look like an ascetic. While he was walking through the woods a tree noticed his compassion and bowed down in his honour.
For 6 years Siddhartha and his followers lived in silence and never left the forest, they drank rain and ate a grain of rice, mud or the droppings of a passing bird. They were trying to master suffering so they knew what I felt like, they were trying to make their minds so strong that they’d forget about their bodies. Siddhartha heard an old musician on a passing boat speaking to his pupil. Siddhartha realised these words held a great truth and in all these years he had been following the wrong path. A village girl offered Siddhartha her bowl of rice and for the first time in years he tasted proper food, but when the ascetics saw their master bathing and eating like an ordinary person they felt betrayed, as if Siddhartha had given up the great search for enlightenment. The other men said they can no longer follow him or learn from him. The middle way was the great truth he had found, the path he would teach to the world till nowadays.
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