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The China Adventures Of Arielle Gabriel

China: Buddhism: The Enlightenment


  There was in Kapilavatthu a Sakya king, strong of purpose and
reverenced by all men, a descendant of the Okkakas, who call
themselves Gotama, and his name was Suddhodana or Pure-Rice. His
wife Mayadevi was beautiful as the water-lily and pure in mind as
the lotus. As the Queen of Heaven, she lived on earth, untainted by
desire, and immaculate.

  The king, her husband, honored her in her holiness, and the spirit
of truth, glorious and strong in his wisdom like unto a white
elephant, descended upon her. When she knew that the hour of
motherhood was near, she asked the king to send her home to her
parents; and Suddhodana, anxious about his wife and the child she
would bear him, willingly granted her request.

  At Lumbini there is a beautiful grove, and when Mayadevi passed
through it the trees were one mass of fragrant flowers and many
birds were warbling in their branches. The Queen, wishing to stroll
through the shady walks, left her golden palanquin, and, when she
reached the giant sala tree in the midst of the grove, felt that her
hour had come. She took hold of a branch. Her attendants hung a
curtain about her and retired. When the pain of travail came upon her,
four pure-minded angels of the great Brahma held out a golden net to
receive the babe, who came forth from her right side like the rising
sun bright and perfect.

  The Brahma-angels took the child and placing him before the mother
said: "Rejoice, O queen, a mighty son has been born unto thee."
  At her couch stood an aged woman imploring the heavens to bless
the child. All the worlds were flooded with light. The blind
received their sight by longing to see the coming glory of the Lord;
the deaf and dumb spoke with one another of the good omens
indicating the birth of the Buddha to be. The crooked became straight;
the lame walked. All prisoners were freed from their chains and the
fires of all the hells were extinguished.

  No clouds gathered in the skies and the polluted streams became
clear, whilst celestial music rang through the air and the angels
rejoiced with gladness. With no selfish or partial joy but for the
sake of the law they rejoiced, for creation engulfed in the ocean of
pain was now to obtain release. The cries of beasts were hushed; all
malevolent beings received a loving heart, and peace reigned on earth.
Mara, the evil one, alone was grieved and rejoiced not.

  The Naga kings, earnestly desiring to show their reverence for
most excellent law, as they had paid honor to former Buddhas, now went
to greet the Bodhisattva. They scattered before him mandara flowers,
rejoicing with heartfelt joy to pay their religious homage.

  The royal father, pondering the meaning of these signs, was now full
of joy and now sore distressed. The queen mother, beholding her
child and the commotion which his birth created, felt in her
timorous heart the pangs of doubt.

  Now there was at that time in a grove near Lumbini Asita, a rishi,
leading the life of a hermit. He was a Brahman of dignified mien,
famed not only for wisdom and scholarship, but also for his skill in
the interpretation of signs. And the king invited him to see the royal
  The seer, beholding the prince, wept and sighed deeply. And when the
king saw the tears of Asita he became alarmed and asked: "Why has
the sight of my son caused thee grief and pain?"

  But Asita's heart rejoiced, and, knowing the king's mind to be
perplexed, he addressed him, saying: "The king, like the moon when
full, should feel great joy, for he has begotten a wondrously noble
son. I do not worship Brahma, but I worship this child; and the gods
in the temples will descend from their places of honor to adore him.
Banish all anxiety and doubt. The spiritual omens manifested
indicate that the child now born will bring deliverance to the whole

  "Recollecting that I myself am old, on that account I could not hold
my tears; for now my end is coming on and I shall not see the glory of
this babe. For this son of thine will rule the world. The wheel of
empire will come to him. He will either be a king of kings to govern
all the lands of the earth, or verily will become a Buddha. He is born
for the sake of everything that lives. His pure teaching will be
like the shore that receives the shipwrecked. His power of
meditation will be like a cool lake; and all creatures parched with
the drought of lust may freely drink thereof.
On the fire of
covetousness he will cause the cloud of his mercy to rise, so that the
rain of the law may extinguish it. The heavy gates of despondency will
he open, and give deliverance to all creatures ensnared in the
self-entwined meshes of folly and ignorance. The king of the law has
come forth to rescue from bondage all the poor, the miserable, the

  When the royal parents heard Asita's words they rejoiced in their
hearts and named their new-born infant Siddhattha, that is he who
has accomplished his purpose."

  And the queen said to her sister, Pajapati: "A mother who has
borne a future Buddha will never give birth to another child. I
shall soon leave this world, my husband, the king, and Siddhattha,
my child. When I am gone, be thou a mother to him." And Pajapati
wept and promised.

  When the queen had departed from the living, Pajapati took the boy
Siddhattha and reared him. And as the light of the moon increases
little by little, so the royal child grew from day to day in mind
and in body; and truthfulness and love resided in his heart. When a
year had passed Suddhodana the king made Pajapati his queen and
there was never a better stepmother than she.

Lamma Island * Lantau Island * Cheung Chau Island
Hong Kong * Mui Wo * Peng Chau Island
Tung Chung * Shenzhen * Nanning * Hunan Province
Bobcaygeon * Pointe Claire * Montreal
Peterborough * Lake Sturgeon * Ontario
Vancouver * Richmond * British Columbia

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The China Adventures Of Arielle Gabriel

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