Siddhartha Guatama (Buddha)
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Asked by: jc1210-ga
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22 Jul 2006 07:20 PDT
Expires: 21 Aug 2006 07:20 PDT
Question ID: 748523
How did the childhood experiences of Siddhartha Guatama (Buddha)lead to the spiritual practices of his time?
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Re: Siddhartha Guatama (Buddha)
From: msarath-ga on 08 Aug 2006 00:20 PDT
We are told that knowing well what was in store for his son, his father tried his best to shield him from all possible spiritual contacts and influences by surrounding him with pomp and luxury and providing all material comforts, so that when he grew up he would become a great ruler. He built three palaces for his son with all the comforts and amenities and arranged for his training in in martial arts and education in various subjects necessary for conduct of state affairs. We are told that despite of these arrangements the young Siddhartha was still drawn occasionally into philosophical and contemplative thinking during which he would suffer from deep despair. When he reached the age of sixteen he was married to a beautiful princess called Yashodhara. She was the daughter of a Sakya Chieftain called Suprabuddha. He had a son through her by the name Rahula. We do not know much about his family life, except that he cared for his wife and spent considerable time in her company. We do not know whether he had any liaison with some other women too. Yashodhara was probably a very dutiful wife, who might have suffered later in life when the Buddha finally left her. During this period he went through four strange experiences which the Buddhists refer as the "Four Noble Signs". They changed his thinking completely and brought a fundamental change in his attitude towards the life he was leading till then. The first of these signs was the sight of an old and decrepit man. This made him think about the decay inherent in all life. The second was the sight of a sick and ailing man. This made him think about the suffering inherent in existence. The third sign was the sight of corpse lying in a bier. This made him think about the transience of human life and need for liberation from the very experience of death. The fourth was the sight of a meditating monk, who had renounced the worldly life and was leading the life of a monk. It reminded him of the possibilities of spiritual life lying beyond the boundaries of his own materialistic life. These experiences prompted the young Siddhartha to review the life he was leading till then and change it if he could. He was overwhelmed with a sense of grief and compassion for the troubles of the mankind. He decided not to rest till he found suitable answers to the questions that were troubling him for some time. His son Rahula was just born then, as if circumstances were making it a little more difficult for him to leave his wife and worldly life behind. http://www.hinduwebsite.com/buddhism/buddhaslife.asp http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gautama_Buddha
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