Prince Siddhartha

1 Jun

Buddha1 Prince Siddhartha’s renunciation is often interpreted as removing worldly clinging to his wife, family, inheritance, power and glory. He knew he couldn’t really help his wife and family from the ravages of sickness, old age and death. So, out of great compassion he has towards his wife and family that he went out to the world and sought a different inheritance.

The renunciate prince learned the greatest meditational techniques of his day from great masters and found that he still needed to traverse more. This time, he needed to do it on his own and no one could really guide him anymore. However, influenced by the great movement of ascetic practices, he delved into the austerities without a second thought. As a result his body was greatly weakened but his mind was more determined than ever.

Then one day, he heard something that woke him up from his meditative absorption. He heard conversations about tightening the strings of a Vina just right so it is not too loose or too tight so it plays just the right notes. Having heard that inspired him to abandon the extreme practices because he realised that they were ineffective. So he left the company of yogis to receive his first proper meal in years. Having strengthened his body with food, he sought refuge under a Bodhi tree and began meditating on this newfound Middle path.

It didn’t take long before achieving many heights of absorption and Mara, the embodiment of his negative karma and ego materialised to stop him. Mara quickly summoned his daughters, beautiful maidens skilled in the arts of seduction to sway the Buddha from his meditation. One played the Vina, one sang with a beautifully sultry voice while the others just danced in the unearthly charm of celestial faeries. However, this had no effect upon the Buddha because he could quickly see through Mara’s plot.

So Mara himself angrily dissolved his daughters and created huge armies of demons that attacked the Buddha with millions of thrown arrows, spears and burning projectiles. None of them could reach the Buddha because all of the weapons quickly turned to flowers and fell gently upon the Buddha. Greatly enraged, Mara then appeared as a splitting image of the Buddha and challenged his right to the spot where he was sitting. Buddha merely touched the earth with his right hand and told him that the truth and virtue of innumerable past lives earned him the right and the earth would bear witness to this.

The earth rumbled its reply and so Mara was utterly defeated and Buddha quickly entered in deeper stages of meditation and finally achieving full awakening at the fourth or last watch of the night.

~ I love this story! It was of course adapted from the scenes of Little Buddha that is not totally accurate but that is how I love to remember Buddha’s life. I dunno why but it always gives me a sense of awe to hear how the Buddha conquered his ego.

2 Responses to “Prince Siddhartha”

  1. Helena March 25, 2012 at 6:44 am #

    I love The Little Buddha too. I watched it many years ago but i don’t fully understand the movie. After many years later, i watched it again and i have a better understanding as i have a little knowledge of Dharma hehe 🙂 Thanks David!

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