A short story about Buddha – Part 1

Paulo Coelho

Siddhartha – whose name means “the one whose objective is attained” – was born into a noble family around the year 560 AC. in the city of Kapilavastu in Nepal.

Legend says that at the moment that his mother was making love with his father, she had a vision: six elephants, each one with a lotus flower on his back, were coming in her direction. The next instant, Siddhartha was conceived.

During her pregnancy, Queen Maya, his mother, decided to call the wise men in the kingdom to interpret the vision she had had, and they were unanimous in affirming that the child about to be brought into the world would be a great king or a great priest.

Siddhartha’s childhood and adolescence were very like ours; his parents wanted by all means to protect their son from knowing about the misery of the world. So he led his life confined between the walls of the gigantic palace where his parents lived and where everything seemed perfect and harmonious. He married, had a son and knew only the pleasures and delights of life.

One night, however, when he turned 29, he asked one of the guards to take him into town. The guard objected, for the king could become furious, but Siddhartha was so insistent that the man eventually gave in, and they left the palace together.

The first thing they saw was an old beggar with a sad expression on his face, asking for alms. Further ahead they came across a group of lepers, and right after them a funeral procession passed by. “I have never seen this before!” he must have said to the guard, who may have answered: “Well, that’s old age, and that’s disease, and death.” On their way back to the palace, they came upon a holy man, his hair shorn and wearing only a yellow cloak, who said: “my life was a torment, so I have given everything up so that I don’t have to incarnate as myself and suffer old age and sickness and death all over again.”

The following night, Siddhartha waited until his wife and son had fallen asleep. He entered the room quietly, kissed them both and again asked the guard to escort him out of the palace; there he handed him his sword with the jewel-set hilt, his clothes made with the finest tissues that the human hand could weave, asking him to return them all to his father; then he shaved his head, covered his body with a yellow mantle and set out in search of an answer to the suffering of the world.

[…]

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Comments

  1. Karmel Johal says:

    All good nurturing parents want to conceal human pain from their children and we all have our own journey through life because we made that choice so we can all relate to Buddha. A beautiful story my Dad told me when I was a little girl. We all have our own paths to discover and you have to live it to experience it to the full.

  2. SARAVANAN says:

    whats the name of the guard who showed everything to buddha? I m curious?

  3. Franklin says:

    There are many people like Budha, Mohammed, etc everybody had told that they can show the way, or they will show the Light, or they will show the Truth. But only Jesus had said in the whole history of mankind that ” I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”.which is the truth.

  4. David Ko says:

    Wonderful Story. I like Herman Hesse… The universal theme is always good.

  5. Me encanta siempre me gustó Sidharta. Y yo no dejo de preguntarme por qué tiene que ser así. Todavía no encuentro una explicación.
    Espero a seguir leyendo para refrescar la memoria.
    Cuéntame un cuento.

  6. oli says:

    forever beautiful story…i like all of it,not only the beginning.how wise all of it!unfortunately one gone out of the church
    (mosque,temple,whatever sacred place) forgets what did in there. i think the famous persons should be label for us,the ordinary ones,how we can live TOGETHER in peace and love.
    all the rest said Jessica.
    love

  7. Alexandra says:

    I have read that story in a book by Borges,a conference discource.There was also a miracle did by Budha,to please nine Gods.I love Borges discourses,I found in a book named”The beauty as a physical sensation”,wonderful.Also about a Gollem,or other .
    I think enlightement is a word fit for many religions.Why?
    Something links us.Paulo,I like u a lot

  8. Good Story Paulo,

    Do you want to get Enlightened?
    Further readings-
    http://mybheja.blogspot.com/2007/08/enlightenment.aspx

    Good day, Everyone !

  9. ksenija says:

    I love this spirit story.Thank you.