The China Adventures of Arielle Gabriel

China: Buddhism: The Three Woes


  THE palace which the king had given to the prince was resplendent
with all the luxuries of India; for the king was anxious to see his
son happy. All sorrowful sights, all misery, and all knowledge of
misery were kept away from Siddhattha, for the king desired that no
troubles should come nigh him; he should not know that there was
evil in the world.

  But as the chained elephant longs for the wilds of the jungles, so
the prince was eager to see the world, and he asked his father, the
king, for permission to do so. And Suddhodana ordered a
jewel-fronted chariot with four stately horses to be held ready, and
commanded the roads to be adorned where his son would pass.
  The houses of the city were decorated with curtains and banners, and
spectators arranged themselves on either side, eagerly gazing at the
heir to the throne. Thus Siddhattha rode with Channa, his
charioteer, through the streets of the city, and into a country
watered by rivulets and covered with pleasant trees.

  There by the wayside they met an old man with bent frame, wrinkled
face and sorrowful brow, and the prince asked the charioteer: "Who
is this? His head is white, his eyes are bleared, and his body is
withered. He can barely support himself on his staff."

  The charioteer, much embarrassed, hardly dared speak the truth. He
said: "These are the symptoms of old age. This same man was once a
suckling child, and as a youth full of sportive life; but now, as
years have passed away, his beauty is gone and the strength of his
life is wasted."

  Siddhattha was greatly affected by the words of the charioteer,
and he sighed because of the pain of old age. "What joy or pleasure
can men take," he thought to himself, when they know they must soon
wither and pine away!"

  And lo! while they were passing on, a sick man appeared on the
way-side, gasping for breath, his body disfigured, convulsed and
groaning with pain. The prince asked his charioteer: "What kind of man is this?"
 And the charioteer replied and said: "This man is sick.
The four elements of his body are confused and out of order. We are
all subject to such conditions: the poor and the rich, the ignorant
and the wise, all creatures that have bodies are liable to the same

  And Siddhattha was still more moved. All pleasures appeared stale to
him, and he loathed the joys of life.
  The charioteer sped the horses on to escape the dreary sight, when
suddenly they were stopped in their fiery course. Four persons
passed by, carrying a corpse; and the prince, shuddering at the
sight of a lifeless body, asked the charioteer: "What is this they
carry? There are streamers and flower garlands; but the men that
follow are overwhelmed with grief!"

  The charioteer replied: "This is a dead man: his body is stark;
his life is gone; his thoughts are still; his family and the friends
who loved him now carry the corpse to the grave." And the prince was
full of awe and terror: "Is this the only dead man, he asked, or
does the world contain other instances?"

  With a heavy heart the charioteer replied: "All over the world it is
the same. He who begins life must end it. There is no escape from

  With bated breath and stammering accents the prince exclaimed: "O
worldly men! How fatal is your delusion! Inevitably your body will
crumble to dust, yet carelessly, unheedingly, ye live on." The
charioteer observing the deep impression these sad sights had made
on the prince, turned his horses and drove back to the city.

  When they passed by the palace of the nobility, Kisa Gotami, a young
princess and niece of the king, saw Siddhattha in his manliness and
beauty, and, observing the thoughtfulness of his countenance, said:
"Happy the father that begot thee, happy the mother that nursed
thee, happy the wife that calls husband this lord so glorious."

  The prince hearing this greeting, said: "Happy are they that have
found deliverance. Longing for peace of mind, I shall seek the bliss
of Nirvana."

  Then asked Kisa Gotami: "How is Nirvana attained?" The prince
paused, and to him whose mind was estranged from wrong the answer
came: "When the fire of lust is gone out, then Nirvana is gained; when
the fires of hatred and delusion are gone out, then Nirvana is gained;
when the troubles of mind, arising from blind credulity, and all other
evils have ceased, then Nirvana is gained!"

  Siddhattha handed her his precious pearl necklace as a reward for
the wisdom she had inspired in him, and having returned home looked
with disdain upon the treasures of his palace.

  His wife welcomed him and entreated him to tell her the cause of his
grief. He said: "I see everywhere the impression of change; therefore,
my heart is heavy. Men grow old, sicken, and die. That is enough to
take away the zest of life."

  The king, his father, hearing that the prince had become estranged
from pleasure, was greatly overcome with sorrow and like a sword it
pierced his heart.

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

Flag Counter

Join My Linked In, 25,000 Friends

Facebook @ArielleGabriel555

The International Paper Doll Society

The China Adventures Of Arielle Gabriel

Bobcaygeon, Mui Wo, Lantau, Tung Chung
Big Buddha, Arielle Gabriel, free paper dolls, 
Pui O, Chep Lap Kok, Tai O, Quan Yin5,
Cheung Chau, Lamma, Peng Chau,
Yung Shue Wan, Montreal, Vancouver,
Hong Kong, Shenzhen, China,
caul, veil, born with a caul