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    ' I .

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    More him two thousand five h u a cars ago, therelived in I d a , in the shodow of the Himalayas, a tribe

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    called the Sakyas. The chief of the tribe was Raja Shvddho-dhana and his queen's name was Mahamaya. Theircapital was the beautiful city Kapilavastu.

    One nigWMahamaya had a strange dream.Ske

    d-tthat four kings carried her up to a lovely lake on a silm mountain, where she was bathed, dressed in Frns clotbrr

    ~ , b r m r , r u r r r u ~ t o k r h r r ~ a * r O f

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    trees at Lumbini.Mahamaya now turned back and returned to Kapila-

    vastu. King Shuddhodhana received thementhusiasticallyand there was great rejoicing in the kingdom.

    Shortly afterwards mother and child were visited by thesage Asita. Taking the prince, who was hardly a day old,in his arms he exclaimed with joy, c'lndeedhe will be aGreat Che!" Then tears bega to trickle down Asita'scheek.

    King Shuddhodhanawas immediately filled with alarm." What

    d a n p r i s going to befall

    myson? " hc

    askedanxiously." I am not crying for the child, " raplied Asita, " but for

    myself. This child will one day bring dtliwrartce to theworld. I am old and will not live to me thrt day. So Icry. " Saying tbis the srs weat his way.

    *

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    All three palaces were surrounded with flower gardens a dlotus pools. And the guards were instructed to see thatonly the healthy and young would enter the palaces.

    Hqre Siddhartha lived in comfort and luxury. He neverwore anything except silk a& never we& out in t b h a t ,cold or rafn. Hundreds of servants attea8sd to his m r yneed. His playmates were his cousin Devadatta, andKaludayin, the son of a minister. Ha was the darling of the Sakyas, tha heir of their &id. The popk called blatGautama, because hs Won@ to tk Gautana claa.

    One dpv when he was strolhng m the p a w garaen

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    Siddhartha saw a flock of wild swans flying overhead. Just'then m arrow whizzed through the air and a bird fell,dying.

    S i d d b r t h ran up to it, pnt ly pulled out the arrow,&d its wound and tended it. Just then Davadatta

    arrived and demanded the bird. But Siddhartha refuaed toport with it.hva&t ta wmplriaed to Shuddhodh.no. ''I shot down

    the bird." bc said, "but Siddhartha refuses to live it tome."

    When Shuddhodhana questioned his son, Siddhartha

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    no r w dL apts

    grew up into a k d s o m eyoung maa. I ~ Bas pap&r, aimsiderate and courteous10 everyone. At a family g a t h e h g he met h ~ s ousin, the.beautiful Yashodhara and fell in lovewith)her.

    According to the custom of the tlme Yashodhara'sfather organised an archery contest to select a suitable

    husband for his daughter. Siddhartha decided to enter thecontest sund win Yashodhara for his own.But Yhshodhara had many suitors. Prmoe~ oam t r m

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    r t h ask& for n blow caHed Simhahanu's~bow w a s k

    se streag that n o W ya t t e m b t s now rm a d

    h k d oa expectw1y,w a d truag; it witla eaM. Tk. T b armw v m i s b d

    After this the other princes conceded defeat. One by m ethe all left and Sitkfhartha was M a r e d the ainller.Shuddhodhana was very happy. He was lnow sure that hisson would become a great conqueror and thought thatSidilhartha would never renounce the world or leave aWife as.beautifu2 as Yashodhara.

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    SEARCH FOR TBUTH

    Siddhartha lived happily inhis Palace with his beautifulwife. Shuddhodhana was verycareful to always surroundhim with all that was beauti:ful and joyful. Siddhartha did

    not even know that there wassorrow and suffering in theworld.

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    However, Siddhartha naturally guessed that there was a

    world beyond the palace gates and wondered what it waslike. We would often wander off on his own, find a seclud -ed place and sit for hours, immersed in thought.

    One day h,t expressed the desire to see for himself theworld outside. When ShwldkPodhana heard of this, he didnot object. " Good, " saia bw, " it is time the prince saw hascountry and the people hs will bad one day. "

    Shuddhodhana gave orders that the city should be sweptand cleaned for Siddhartha's visit. Festive arches.were putup to welcome him and houses decorated with flowers andflags. Special instructions were issued that the sick and theold should keep out of the city. Shuddhodhana took everyprecaution not to expose his son to the sight of humansuffering of any kind.

    The chariot was drawn by four gleaming, white horses.

    Siddhartha took his seat and Channa, the charioteer,drove him slowly through the city. The people linedup onboth sides and cheered their prince.

    Siddhartha received their greeting with folded hands." The people are happy, " he thought. " The world is indeeda happy p w . "

    But he wanted to sss more. " Let us go that way,?' he

    told C h a ~ .So C b n ~ a u r d the chariot into a bylane.There the people were not expacting Siddhartha. Therewarc no welcoming banners and the streets were dustymd crowded. An old man, with bent bock came hobblingalong, supported by or stick.

    "WBo is thot?'eenclaimed Siddhartha in surprise.

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    across an ascetic in yallow h. he man looked calmd eaceful." Who is that man?' he

    " A sadhu," replied Charma. "He &a renounced theworld, and is i ad i ffe re~ tto m o w and suffering. He is atpew% with the world, q u k l y soard ing f ~ rthe eternaltruth. " This gave Siddbarth some hope. Skidharthaw a a u to be like him. He too decided to renounce theworld aa d become an a m t i c .

    While he was still thinking deeply about these matters, ason was bow to him. The baby was named Rahula. Whilerejoicing at the birth of his son, the restless prince decidednot to be diverted from his purpose. He was deterniinedthat he should renounce the world without further delay.

    Siddhartha was then twenty -nine years old. He woke upin the dead of night while his wife Yashodhara was fastasleep, with one hand lying on Rahula. Siddhartha wanted

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    Sdw. Ia his wa

    to find t b tm

    the most powerfuI kin- of the time. There he joined .a famous school run by a great sdh dar Wdraka. Gautamawas i m p r e w d by Udraka's vast learning but soon feltthat mere learning could mot bad oae to truth. He left theschool to continue his search.

    Would a life of severe penance lead one to truth ?Gautama thought he should try this ancient method of &esages. He was joined by five ascetics who asked to becomehis disciples. With these five disciples he retired into theforest and began a period of penance. He put his body tohardships of many kinds and almost died from fasting,but still found that he was no nearer to the truth. He C O B -cluded that severe penance was useless and gave it up. Hisfive discipks toqk this as a sign of his having gone back to the worldly life and left him.

    Siddh ar tL wentto a nearby river, Niranjana, and bath -ed. He was so weak, however, that he was almost c a m 4away by the current. With great difficulty he came ashore.Sujata, a young woman who lived in the neighbourhood

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    F d l y . b r t h i d 4 that thc way to truth lay indeep meditation. He cbow a ahuraing girot oa tbe d i r t sof Gap and 8as down cross-lcw llBdBT a pupui m ." I will aot rise from this ssrt tig I 1lMbrsbnQ t8s m B , -be V Q W ~

    While thus immersed h meditation it is hid that Siddh-

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    artha bad to f w may t loas. T b evil spirit,Marii,was afraid tW e to know the truth, he

    w* a vision of hislittle SOR Rahula

    o be tempted and

    k k i t sent violent stormswas not d0&ryu:t&. As a last mrt Mam sent his threedaughters - Wire, Pleasure, and Passion-to dancebefore Siddhartha and tempt him. But they too had noeffect on him. He continued to be lost in deep meditation.

    nth day he realised the truth. He becameE n l i h t e a d Cine. The tree under which

    attained eapli$Irtemmmt w s thereafter called

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    THE NOBLE PATH

    Siddhartha, now the Buddhawanted to teach the peoplethe truth he had discovered.He knew that the world wassteeped in ignorance andwickedness. " Would it everlisten to him, " he wondered.He knew that the task wasdifficult but his compassionfor maakind was so infinite

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    the Buddha in his erst sermon at Sarnath.The eightfold path that the Buddha preached enjoins:right views, right aspirations, right speech, right

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