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  7. The legend of Buddha’s birth

His father, Suddhodona was the King of the Sakya clan (he was probably only Rajah, or landowner of the warrior class) having married Queen Maya, very wise and virtuous who stayed pure even during the beginning of her marriage. One day she had a dream : she saw, without feeling the slightest pain, a small white elephant with 6 tusks penetrate her flank ; the birth took place 10 months after the premonitory dream. The child was born in a grove in the Lumbini park in the shade of a fig tree, and it was Brahmâ himself who received the child, already full of science and memories of his past lives.

Legend has it, that at that exact moment; nature went mad : budding flowers opened all of a sudden, heavenly music sounded in everybody’s ears ... The child arose, looked around and then took 7 paces in the direction of the 4 cardinal points, and so he reached the summit of the world. The wiseman, Asita, ‘felt’ this extraordinary event from the back lands of his Himalayan sanctum and came to bow before the child who bore on his body, the 32 marks of his glory to come : his skull had an outgrowth, had a wide brow that was joined between his two eyebrows, he had earlobes 3 times longer than normal, under the soles of his feet, a wheel with a thousand rays, was drawn ...

The child was extremely talented from birth, learned to walk and speak very quickly and rapidly showed proof of a remarkable intelligence. He learnt the traditional teachings of Veda, was intiated to the rites and the magic, was introduced to literature and astronomy.

From the soothsayers leaning over his crib, his father learnt that Siddharta would have an incredible destiny; that he would become either a powerful King, or a wiseman, the most perfect example of those who practised self-denial ... Even though Suddhodana was pious, he would have preferred, by far, that his son follow up his own career. That is why, he surrounded him with luxury and beauty, forbidding that anything sad or depressing should spoil, even for an instant, the life of the young, spoilt prince ; even the sight of a wilted rose was forbidden, so great was the King’s fear, that his son turn towards anything spiritual and compassionate.

However, as a teenager, Siddharta discovers the 4 plagues of Man during 4 walks ....

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