Story of The Buddha – Part 01
1. The Country where the buddha grew up
The hero of our story is Prince Siddhartha, the Buddha-to-be, who lived more than
2,500 years ago. His father was the Rajah of the Sakya clan, King Suddhodana, and
his mother was Qeen Maha Maya. They lived in India, in a city called Kapilavatthu,
in the foothills of the Himalayas.
2. The city of Kapivalatthu
Siddhartha’s parents belonged to the Indian warrior caste. They lived in a
great palace in their capital city of Kapilavatthu, beneath the majestic mountains
of the Himalayas. Qeen Maha Maya was beautiful, intelligent and good. King
Suddhodana was honoured and respected because he ruled well. Both of them were
admired and loved by the people they ruled.
3. The King Suddhodana and Queen Maha Maya
After many years, Qeen Maha Maya became pregnant. She and her husband
were very happy about it. On the full moon day in the month of May, she gave birth
to a boy in Lumbini Park, while she was on her way to see her parents. Five days
after the prince’s birth the king asked five wise men to select a name for his son. They
named him Siddhartha. This name means “the one whose wishes will be fulfilled”.
4. The Death of Queen Maha Maya
There had been much rejoicing at the birth of the prince, but two days after he
was named, Qeen Maha Maya died. Everybody was shocked and felt very sad. But
the saddest person was, of course, her husband King Suddhodana. He was worried,
too, because his wise advisers had predicted that if the prince saw someone old,
someone sick, a dead person, and a monk, he would want to leave the palace and
become a monk himself, instead of being a prince.
5. Prajapati Gotami take care of the Baby Prince
The Qeen’s sister Prajapati Gotami took care of the baby prince with as much love
as if he were her own son. Prince Siddhartha was a healthy and happy boy. He liked
to learn and found it easy to study, and was the cleverest in his class and the best at
games. He was always considerate to others and was popular among his friends
6. The Price’s Loving Kindness
The prince was kind to everyone. He was gentle with his horse and other animals.
Because he was a prince his life was very easy, and he could have chosen to ignore
the problems of others. But he felt sympathy for others. He knew that all creatures,
including people, animals and all other living beings, like to be happy and don’t like
suffering and pain.
7. The Prince protects a snake
Siddhartha always took care not to do anything harmful to any creature. He liked to
help others. For example, one day the prince saw one of the town boys beating a snake
with a stick. He immediately stopped the boy, and told him not to hurt the snake.
8. Rescuing a swan short by Devadatta
One day, Siddhartha was playing with his friends in the palace garden. One of
the boys was his cousin, Prince Devadatta. While Siddhartha was gentle and kind,
Devadatta was by nature cruel and liked to kill other creatures. While they were
playing, Devadatta shot a swan with his bow and arrow. It was badly wounded. But
Siddhartha took care of the swan until its wounds healed. When the swan was well
again, he let it go free
9. The Ploughing Celemony
Siddhartha liked to watch what was happening and think about different things.
One afternoon his father took him to the annual Ploughing Festival. The king started
the ceremony by driving the first pair of beautifully decorated bullocks. Siddhartha
sat down under a rose-apple tree and watched everyone. He noticed that while
people were happily enjoying themselves, the bullocks had to work terribly hard
and plough the field. They did not look happy at all.
10. Seeing the nature of life
Then Siddhartha noticed various other creatures around him. He saw a lizard
eating ants. But soon a snake came, caught the lizard, and ate it. Then, suddenly a bird
came down from the sky, picked up the snake and so it was eaten also. Siddhartha
realised that all these creatures might think that they were happy for a while, but
that they ended up suffering.