The Sermon at Benares

  • Question 13

    Describe the early life of Siddhartha Gautama.


    Siddhartha Gautama was a prince of a northern Indian state. He was sent away for schooling at the age of twelve. He studied sacred Hindu scriptures for four years. Then he married a princess and had a son. He lived his life royally for ten years.

    Question 14

    What moved Siddhartha? Why?


    Siddhartha lived and enjoyed his life till he was twenty five. While on a hunting expedition, Siddhartha encountered a series of events that moved him. He came across a sick man by chance. Then he saw an aged man, a funeral procession and at last a monk begging for alms. As Siddhartha had been shielded from the sufferings of the world till then, all these sights moved him greatly.

    Question 15

    Why did Siddhartha go out into the world?


    Siddhartha had come across the sufferings of the world for the first time that moved him greatly. He decided to seek enlightenment regarding the sorrows he had witnessed. To do that honestly and devotedly, he went out into the world.

    Question 16

    How did Siddhartha get enlightenment?


    How did Siddhartha become the Buddha?


    Discomposed by the sufferings of the people, Siddhartha went out into the world to seek enlightenment. Wandering for seven years, he finally sat under a fig tree and waited till the enlightenment came. His seven days long meditation yielded him Enlightenment. He renamed that tree as the Bodhi Tree (Tree of Wisdom) and began to teach and to share his new understandings. Then he came to be known as the Buddha (the Awakened or the Enlightened).

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