Siddhartha Gautama was born in 637 B.C. at Lumbini grove located in Northeast India. It is said that when he first entered the world he took seven steps in four directions, with his right hand pointed to the sky and his left hand pointed to the ground he spoke, “below the heavens and above the earth ‘I’ is the honored one” (I meaning the ego)
Siddhartha Gautama was born as a prince into a royal family of the Sakyas. After his auspicious birth, his father, King Suddhodana, received many wise men to foresee what lies ahead for his child and the future King of Kapilavastu. As one very old ascetic named Asita was courteously shown the new born Prince and he professed “If this prince remains in the palace after his youth, he will become a great King and rule the Four Seas. But if he forsakes the household life to embrace a religious life, he will become an enlightened one and the world’s Savior.” Asita then began to weep for he was already old in age and would not live long enough to recieve the teachings of the coming Buddha.
It is said that when the Prince was seven years old he ventured outside of the castle with his father King Suddhodana. While watching a farmer ploughing his field the Prince noticed a bird swoop down and pluck worm out of the newly tilled soil. Though a common sight, this deeply affected the Prince and at a young age Prince Siddhartha realized the harsh nature of the world.
As the Prince grew older, his father could see Siddhartha’s deep understanding of the world and growing compassion for other beings. The threat of his renouncing the royal life was ever more present. The King fulfilled each desire of the young Prince and tried his best to keep Siddharta from viewing anything unpleasant hoping this would keep his only son from embracing a religious life. At his father’s wishes, the Prince was surrounded by sensual music, women, food, entertainment and beautiful wife named Yasodara to keep him content. But slowly, the Prince became unsatisfied with the life of sensual pleasure and one day Siddaharta along with his trusted attendant Chana and beloved horse Kantaka ventured out to the surrounding life of the castle. In his journey he came across four sights that struck his heart. The first was an old man withering away, the second a sick leper in torn bandages, the third was a dead body and the last an ascetic seemingly disassociated from the suffering of the ordinary world…
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