After Buddha’s Enlightenment

- June 25, 2021


By Aditya Sen and Vijita Mukherjee

Prince Siddharth of the Shakya clan came to be known as Gautama Buddha after he found enlightenment. For this, he left his wife, Princess Yasodhara, his son Rahula and his father, King Suddhodana’s kingdom. Here are some stories associated with his life thereafter.

Illustration: Souren Roy | Script: S. K. Ramchandra Rao
Yashas and his friends

A rich young man named Yashas listened to the Buddha at the Deer Park in Benares. The teachings were so profound that Yashas immediately became a monk (bhikku). In the evening, his father came looking for him fearing that he had been attacked by robbers or worse. On listening to the Buddha, Yashas’s father also became a monk, as did fifty-four of his other friends.

Krishna Gotami 

Krishna Gotami, a wealthy young woman, lost her one-year-old son. Overcome with grief, she came to the Buddha and asked him to bring her son back to life. He listened to her with compassion and then said that to perform this feat he needed five mustard seeds from any house where there had been no death. When she went from house to house asking for the mustard seeds, Krishna Gotami realised that suffering and death are inevitable. She became a follower of the Buddha.

Illustration: Souren Roy | Script: S. K. Ramchandra Rao
 The Harvest

A wealthy Brahmin was harvesting his crop when the Buddha came with the begging bowl in his hands. The Brahmin reprimanded him for begging and told him that he should work for his food. After all, farming was hard work requiring ploughing, sowing, weeding and watering and only after that does one get to eat. The Buddha calmly replied that he too was a farmer. The Brahmin was surprised. “Then where are your bullocks, the seed and the plough?” he asked. The Buddha explained that he sows seeds of faith, his good deeds are the rain, wisdom and good action are parts of the plough, and his mind is the guiding rein. He destroys the weeds of delusion with constant awareness. Finally, he harvests the fruit of Nirvana and ends all sorrow.

The Limping Lamb

Once the Buddha was taking a walk and he saw a herd of goats and sheep. The animals were being taken to the king for a sacrifice. The Buddha affectionately picked up a lamb who was limping and accompanied the herdsman.

Illustration: Souren Roy | Script: S. K. Ramchandra Rao

Just as the man in charge of the sacrifice was about to begin, the Buddha intervened and offered his life instead of the poor animals. The king was amazed at these words and asked the Buddha to speak to him and his people.

The Buddha asked the people to remember that though it is easy to take life, none among them had the ability to give life. All life is linked and it is compassion that makes it beautiful.

The king of the land decreed that none in his kingdom shall kill for sacrifice or pleasure.

The Visit Home

Gautama Buddha was preaching in Rajagaha when King Suddhodana sent nine messengers, one after the other to call him home to Kapilavastu. All the nine became monks and never returned.

When Gautama finally did come, the people of the city and his family treated him as a brother, nephew, grandson and so on. They still felt bound to the old relationship that they had with him, while he had transcended those boundaries. He performed the ‘Twin Miracle’ there for the first time.  Seeing him emit fire from half of his body and water from the other half, they realised who he had become and flocked to him to learn.   

Yasodhara

Once Gautama came to King Suddhodana’s palace, all the people there came to meet him. However, Yasodhara did not come.  The King informed the Buddha that ever since he left, Yasodhara had lived a spartan life. She ate one meal a day, shunned perfumes and ornamentation and wore the robes of an ascetic. The Buddha admired her sacrifice and patience. She entered the Order of Monks and Nuns and attained the state of an arhat.

Thus, Gautama Buddha transformed all the lives he came in touch with and continues to do so even today.

Read the life story of ‘The enlightened one’ in our title Buddha, now available on the ACK Comics App, Kindle, Amazon, Flipkart, and other major e-tailers. 

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