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Sunday, 3 May 2015

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A Prince is born

A new Prince was born in ancient India, about 2500 years ago (in 553 BC). His name was Prince Siddhartha Gautama. His parents loved him very much.

Growing up

His parents gave the prince excellent food to eat, fine clothes to wear and good servants to wait on him. When he became a youth, his parents gave him a different palace for each season of the year.

The prince and his wife were blessed with the birth of a baby, a new son, who was strong and healthy. You might say the prince had everything!

Suffering

But all the prince could see was suffering. It had moved him greatly, all his life, that pain and old age, and sickness and death were all part of life. This had made him very unhappy.

One day, the Prince met a bhikkhu. That changed his life. He could not believe that the bhikkhu could find happiness in a world that held such misery.

Startling decision

The prince made a startling decision. He decided to leave his parents, his wife, and his new born son and become a bhikkhu.

The Prince travelled widely in India, in search of peace and calm in the face of suffering and sadness. He travelled for six years, as a bhikkhu. Perhaps there was no answer. Perhaps all his life he would be unhappy. It was a miserable thought.

It was when he was meditating under a peepal tree that the way to end all suffering occurred to him! That was the day he became known as “The Buddha”.


Four Noble Truths

* Life is filled with suffering

* Suffering is caused by people's wants.

* Suffering can end if people stop wanting things, like more pleasure or more power.

* To stop wanting things, people must follow the Eightfold Path.

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