((The Buddha ))
1. The birth of the prince
A long time ago, at the foot of the Himalayan Mountains, there was a small kingdom called Kapilavatthu. Here, the righteous and mighty King Suddhodan ruled over the SaKya clan. His capital city was a delightful place, where a mass of joyful people with handsome features and flashing eyes crowded the squares and market places. Young girls walked gracefully along the streets, wearing their chariots, merchants on elephants and peasant on foot. Children played in the gleaming river and holy men and villagers bathed along its shores. The city was decorated with large gardens filled with beautiful flowers, peacocks and cool ponds. Brave warriors on horseback guarded the kingdom.
((The dream of Queen Maya ))
The king had a beautiful wife name Maya, who was kind and loved by everyone. The king and queen were very happy, except for one thing. They did not have any children.
On a full-moon night, Queen Maya dreamed of a big white elephant with six tusks. The wise men predicted, “You will give birth to a wonderful child.” Everyone in the kingdom celebrated when they heard that a child was to be born to their queen.
((The birth in Lumbini Park))
Queen Maya returned to her parents’ home to give birth as that was the custom in India. The king had the roads along the way cleaned and decorated with flowers and bright silk banners fluttering in the warm breeze from the hills.
When the royal party came to Lumbini Park, the queen said, “We shall stop and rest for the night in this grove of beautiful trees,” It was the month of May. The flowers in the park were in full bloom, scenting the air with a sweet smell. Birds chirped their lovely songs and butterflies darted along the path where the queen and her attendants walked. The daylight began to fade and a silvery full moon rose above the treetops.
Queen Maya stopped under a sala-tree. She reached up to a branch to pluck a flower. As she did, a shinning baby boy was born from her. His body shone with a dazzling light and he was perfect in every way. A soft rain fell and the night air was filled with heavenly music. Showers of perfumed petals rained down. Everyone was delighted at the birth.
The deer and other animals in the park, sensing something special, came and looked in wonder at the prince.
To everyone’s amazement, the baby prince spoke a verse, “I am the highest in the world. I am the foremost n the world. This is my last birth.” Then he smiled and took seven steps in each of the four directions. Lotuses sprang open under his feet as he walked.
Afterwards, the royal party returned to the palace. When the king was his son, he said, “I am filled with great joy. Let everyone in the world rejoice.”
((Asita’s prediction ))
In the distant mountains lived Asita, a wise man who could see into the future. One day he saw a bright glow all around the palace and knew that a mighty prince had been born. He came down from the mountain and went to the palace. The proud and happy king showed him his amazing son.
“Rejoice, O King and Queen, a very special child has been born to you!” Asita said joyfully. Then he went into deep thought. Suddenly he began to shed tears.
The king was troubled. He asked, “Will some misfortune befall the Prince?”
Asita answered, “I foresee no harm to the child. He is born to bring happiness to the world. He will be a great leader among men. I shed tears of joy that he has been born in our land. Many wonderful things will happen. I shed tears of sadness because I shall soon die and not be able to honour him or learn from him. He will go forth in the world and become a Buddha.” The holy man said no more, he went back to his cave in the snow-capped mountains. The king and the queen were very upset when they heard this.
The baby was given the name Siddhartha, which means “a wish fulfilled”, and his family name was Gautama.
Room 06, Yrkesvegen. 1A