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  • Thong Tri Temple

The Story of Buddha: His Birth (1)

Updated: May 30, 2022

February 17, 2020 | Equanimity {Upekṣā}


Namo Shakyamuni Buddha.


The Story of Buddha: His Birth


The story of Buddha’s early life was filled with mysticism and prophesies. Long ago, about 480 BCE, before he was born, his mother, Queen Maya, wife of King Suddhodana of a small kingdom in northern India, had a dream. In her dream, she saw a bright white light from the sky beaming down at her. In the rays of the light contained a pure white, impressive elephant with six large tusks. It flew nearer and nearer to Queen Maya until it merged as one into her body. She awoke from the dream filled with joy.


Queen Maya and King Suddhodana convened at the court with wise men. She recounted her strange and wondrous dream to the wise men. In hearing her dream, the wise men rejoiced and answered, “O Your Majesties, this dream is a most excellent one! It means that the Queen will give birth to a son, and this prince will someday become a great man. Not only you, but the entire world is fortunate that the Queen will have such a special child.” King Suddhodana was overjoyed by this dream interpretation. He believed that his wish to have a son rule over his kingdom in his place was being fulfilled.


Back then, it was customary for the woman to return to her parents’ home to give birth. When the baby was nearly due, Queen Maya was accompanied by many friends and attendants on her journey back to her childhood home. However, they did not travel very far before Queen Maya requested that they stop and rest because she knew that the baby was coming soon. They took refuge in the beauteous gardens of Lumbini, Nepal, where Queen Maya gave birth to a baby boy.


The garden was filled with a magical ambience. Stories have been told about how even the plants and animals wanted to aid Queen Maya during her labor because they recognized that this was an exceptional birth. A large, accommodating tree stooped down one of its branches for Queen Maya to take hold of it with her right hand while she gave birth. Her attendants rocked the baby boy in their arms and noted how handsome and serene he looked.


At that moment, it was said that, all across the land, people ceased their fighting—love, peace, and friendship filled each home. The sky shone a magnificent rainbow to celebrate the birth of this special boy. All over the kingdom, wise men perceived these joyous signs as a good omen. They eagerly exclaimed to one another, “Something very fortunate has just happened. Look at all these wonderful signs! Today is the full moon day of the fourth month. It must certainly be a special day!”


Clueless to the fact that her joy of giving birth to a son was being shared all across the kingdom, Queen Maya lovingly cradled her newborn in her arms and carried him back to the palace of the King, where they were greeted by extravagant festivals with the halls decked in exquisite banners. Since his birth ushered in peace, Queen Maya and King Shuddhodana decided to name him “Siddhartha,” which means, “the one who has brought about all good.”


To Be Continued….


May you all be free from suffering and all the causes of suffering!


Namo Shakyamuni Buddha.


References:

“Chơn Lý,” Tác Giả Đức Tổ Sư Minh Đăng Quang (Language in Vietnamese)

“Phật Học Phổ Thông,” Tác Giả Hòa Thượng Thích Thiện Hoa (Language in Vietnamese)

“The Seeker’s Glossary of BUDDHISM,” Edited by the Van Hien-Study Group, Sutra Translation Committee of the United States & Canada

“A Simple Path – Basic Buddhist Teachings,” by His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama

“The Buddha and His Teachings,” by Venerable Narada Mahathera (Sri Lanka 1970), Buddha Dharma Education Association Inc.

"Kinh Tụng Hằng Ngày," Biên Soạn Thượng Tọa Thích Nhật Từ (Language Vietnamese)

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