[ The Sutra Story 6 | Life of Shakyamuni Buddha - From his Birth to his Nirvana ]

Uploaded by weixingli on 19.02.2011

THE SUTRA STORY Episode 6 Shakyamuni Buddha From his Birth to his Nirvana
THE SUTRA STORY Shakyamuni Buddha - From his Birth to his Nirvana -
About 2500 years ago,
there lived the Shakyas on the plateau at the foot of Himalayas in northern India.
They built their country at Kapilavastu.
One year in the spring,
lady Maya, the queen of King Shuddhodana,
was on her way to her childhood home, Devadaha, to give birth.
The procession passed by Lumbini Garden and stopped there for a short rest.
Colorful flowers were blooming everywhere in the garden.
There was a very beautiful Sal tree with red flowers.
As Lady Maya reached up and touched the flowers, the child was born,
who became Shakyamuni Buddha later.
Shakyamuni Buddha walked seven steps after birth with one hand pointing up and the other pointing down,
proclaimed, "Above heaven and below heaven, I alone am honored."
Then a gentle rain fell on him.
Among the seven steps which the Buddha took, the first six represented the six paths.
They are Hell, Hungry spirits, Animals, Asuras, Human beings and Heavenly beings.
They are all deluded realms.
The seventh step represented going beyond the deluded realms into the realm of enlightenment.
According to tradition, the Buddha's birthday is the 8th of April.
It's celebrated as the flower festival in Japan.
Lady Maya passed away seven days after the Buddha's birth.
Siddhartha was nursed and raised by her sister, Pajapati.
Siddhartha was well versed in both civil and military arts. He was the hope of his people.
However, his thoughts more naturally tended to other things.
Once, he accompanied his father for the ploughing ceremony.
The worm got eaten by the bird.
The bird then became the food of the eagle.
Having witnessed the living beings killing each other,
prince Siddhartha was constantly depressed and often sat in deep thought.
King Shuddhodana was worried about the prince very much.
He tried all means to make Siddhartha happy.
After Siddhartha grew up,
the king arranged his marriage to the beautiful princess Yasodhara.
But that didn't remove his unrest.
One day,
Siddhartha went outside the city from the eastern gate.
Why stopped?
There is an old crippled man.
Get out of the way!
Don't hurry him.
I'll also become aged and feeble like him someday.
On another day, he went out from the southern gate.
What's that?
It's a sick man.
He seems to be very ill and in pain.
One day, I'll also fall diseased like him,
and suffer from pains.
The other day, Siddhartha left the eastern gate.
What's going on?
It's a funeral procession.
The family is carrying the body to bury.
My time will also come someday.
We will all undergo aging, illness and death.
All happiness will change into pain.
The world is full of sufferings.
What should I go for in my life?
Lastly, he left the northern gate.
- Charioteer. - Yes.
That is...
It's an ascetic.
He left home,
doing all kinds of practices in deep mountains or forests...
...to seek the truth.
How graceful he looks!
I also want to leave home...
...and seek the truth like him.
I'm ready for the hardest practice to remove my sufferings.
This is the legend of "The Four Gates".
It's said that these experiences made Siddhartha determine to leave home.
Not long after, Yasodhara gave birth to a boy.
He is so cute.
But he is now an obstacle in my way of seeking the truth.
The boy was then called "Rahula", which means "obstacle".
When Siddhartha reached 29,
he finally realized his ambition after much thought.
Please tell my mother and father...
...not to worry about me.
Don't cry, charioteer.
My new life will now begin.
Your Highness, take care!
Having abandoned throne, parents, wife and son,
Siddhartha became a wanderer, an ascetic, a meditator.
He walked far to the Rajgir City, the capital of Kingdom Magadha.
Rajgir City was the most prosperous city in India.
There gathered a lot of ascetics.
King Bimbisara's eye fell on Siddhartha.
Summon that young ascetic.
So you are the prince of the Shakyas!
No wonder you looked extraordinary.
Why don't you stay here and be my spiritual friend.
I can give you even half of the kingdom if you wish.
I left home to seek the truth.
I don't have any worldly desires.
I'm sorry.
I see. But...
I'm still on my way.
Please excuse me.
Hold on.
I'd like to request a favor before you leave.
Please come back and preach to me,
if you do become enlightened.
I hope you grant my wish.
Thank you so much!
Siddhartha visited all the well known hermits one by one.
But none of their teachings satisfied him.
He realized that he had to seek the truth by himself.
Siddhartha went into the Uruvela Forest, tried all kinds of ascetic practices.
Five other ascetics joined him later on.
They were said to be sent by King Shuddhodana to accompany him.
They got very shocked by Siddhartha's extreme practices.
Sometimes Siddhartha would eat only one grain of rice in a day.
Sometimes he would not drink any water.
Sometimes he would refrain from breathing.
Is he dead?
I think so.
Even skillful ascetics would not withstand such practices.
Hold on. Look!
Siddhartha kept performing extreme austerities for six years.
He became weaker and weaker both in body and mind,
but without any accomplishment.
It won't work this way. There must be something wrong.
Screw the string to tight,
it will snap.
If too loose, sound doesn't form.
Not too tight or too loose, that's optimal.
The string will snap if screwed too tight.
Sound doesn't form if too loose.
Optimum is neither too tight nor too loose.
I see!
You want to stop ascetic practices?
I'm going to take the middle path.
The middle path?
Extreme ascetic practice is no different from overindulgence.
It will only serve to damage my body and mind.
From now on,
I will return to normal life and restore myself,
and continue with a calm and peaceful mind.
What was he talking about?
I don't understand.
Siddhartha left the forest, walked into the Niranjana River to bathe.
A girl who lived in the neighboring village came to him.
Dear ascetic.
My name is Sujata.
This is a porridge made from the best rice and milk.
Please have it.
Thank you.
I'll have it now.
What is he doing?
He is already degraded.
I'm no longer his companion.
Let's go somewhere else.
Let's go!
Siddhartha got recovered after taking the food from Sujata.
He went to Gaya, sat down under a tree.
This place was called "Buddhagaya" later because of him.
Siddhartha entered a very deep meditation.
After a few days, the great moment was drawing near.
the evil Mara showed up to obstruct him.
He first sent his daughters to lure Siddhartha.
Look at these beauties. Feel them! Hug them!
They are all yours!
Then Mara went on with wealth and power to corrupt him.
I will give you all the wealth of the world...
...and the power to rule the world.
The only condition is that you obey my command.
Mara then tried to use violence to threaten him.
Don't be so obstinate! Siddhartha.
That will cost you your life!
Come to me!
Evil Mara! Stop!
I've already arrived at the realm of eternity.
No weapons can injure me.
Evil Mara!
Be gone!
The battle has ended.
The evil Mara was the reflection of the delusions remained in Siddhartha's mind.
After overcame his delusions,
at the dawn of December the eighth,
when the morning star appeared in the eastern sky,
Siddhartha eradicated the root of death,
and achieved the ultimate truth of the universe.
He was 35 years old at that time.
After attained the supreme enlightenment,
Siddhartha was regarded as Shakyamuni Buddha.
"Shakyamuni" means "the sage of the Shakyas".
He is also called "The World-Honored One".
Siddhartha stayed at Gaya after became a Buddha.
He was totally immersed in the joy of enlightenment.
All the sorrows and sufferings that have bothered me in the past...
...have disappeared completely now.
What a deep and broad joy it is!
Now I can leave this world with no regrets.
Have pity on sentient beings!
At that moment, the supreme deity of Hinduism, Brahma, showed up.
You have suffered a lot to achieve the whole knowledge of the universe.
Shouldn't you pass it down to the others?
It's a hard task.
Do you want to sit back and ignore?
The world will perish as it goes.
The knowledge that I've attained is very profound, subtle and difficult.
It's very hard for the common people to understand it.
But there must be people who can accept it in this world.
Am I not right? World-Honored One,
please preach to them,
help them leave the sorrows and sufferings...
...and get released from death.
This is your responsibility.
What you have said is very true.
I shouldn't keep the joy of enlightenment only for myself.
I must share my knowledge with those who are still suffering,
help them get released.
Teaching is what I should do.
After decided to be a teacher,
the first one he came across was an ascetic called Upaka.
You look very graceful.
May I ask under whom you are practicing?
To be honest, I don't have a teacher.
I attained the whole knowledge of the universe by myself.
I achieved it after I gave up all my desires.
How remarkable!
He let slip the chance to become the Buddha's first disciple.
The Buddha's new ideas could hardly be accepted because the master-disciple lineage was very important in India.
The Buddha went to the Deer Park in Varanasi.
His old companions were practicing there.
He is here.
Just pretend not to know him.
I don't want to talk to a degraded man.
I attained enlightenment.
I'd like to pass on my knowledge to you first,
my old companions.
Started with their backs on the Buddha,
they were gradually attracted by his teachings.
Finally they became the first five disciples of the Buddha.
This incident is known as "The First Turing of the Wheel of Dharma".
The Triple Gems of Buddhism, the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha gathered together for the first time.
The Buddha varied his teachings according to individual person and circumstance.
He preached while he travelled.
More and more people became his disciples.
Sariputta, the foremost in wisdom. Maudgalyayana, the foremost in supernatural powers.
Mahakasyapa, the foremost in ascetic practices.
He complied the Buddha's teachings into Sutra.
Ananda, who took care of the Buddha and memorized all his teachings.
The "fool", Suddhipanthaka,
who achieved arhatship through a broom.
Upali, who was born as a slave and yet accepted by the Buddha.
The Buddha paid special attention not to let the caste system to be brought into his Sangha.
He treated all his disciples equally.
The Buddha went to Rajgir.
He preached to King Bimbisara as promised.
King Bimbisara rejoiced greatly.
He donated the Venuvana Vihara to be their residence.
Near Rajgir City, there is a Vulture Peak.
That's the spot where the Buddha preached The Infinite Life Sutra.
Later on, he preached The Amitayurdhyana Sutra to Queen Vaidehi.
The precious Pureland of Amitabha Buddha became known by the world.
Next to Magadha, in the Kingdom of Kosala,
the Jetavana Vihara was also donated to the Buddha.
The Amitabha Sutra was expounded there.
The Buddha passed on his teachings equally to poor and rich.
His followers spread over all castes and countries.
Buddhism became popular across India.
Spreading the Dharma is like rolling the wheel.
Therefore it's called "Tuning the Wheel of the Dharma".
The Buddha had devoted his entire life to tuning the Dharma Wheel.
At his eighties, he was still on his way of teaching.
The Buddha fell ill in Vaisali.
Only Ananda and a few other disciples took care of him.
How do you feel, Buddha?
I feel much better.
That's great.
To be honest,
I've been worrying about one thing during the time.
Buddha, you haven't determined your successor who will receive the secret Dharma from you.
We disciples hope you can consider about this.
Or you might already have a decision.
You're expecting something that doesn't exit.
I have taught everything about the Dharma.
Among my teachings, there isn't any secret one!
I see.
Everybody pay attention.
I've become aged.
From now on,
you must be your own lamp.
You should depend only on yourselves,
but not on anybody else.
My teaching is your guide.
You should rely only on the Dharma, but not on others.
The Buddha then journeyed on to a place called Pava.
He preached to Chunda, a blacksmith.
Chunda rejoiced very much.
He invited the Buddha and his disciples to his home.
The mushroom soup that he served caused the Buddha's illness.
Please take care!
I'm fine.
We shall leave for Kushinagar.
It's all my fault! I'm sorry!
Chunda, don't blame yourself.
You served the food earnestly.
You are as sincere as Sujata, who gave me the milk porridge in the past.
The Buddha reached the forest next to Kushinagar in spite of great pain.
He couldn't walk any further.
Make a place between those two trees.
I wish to lie down.
Thank you for taking care of me for so many years.
Don not weep, Ananda.
As I often said to you,
people have to part at last,
no matter how much they love each other.
With birth, there shall also be death.
This is an eternal truth.
I'm here.
Don't think that you will have no teacher after my demise.
The Dharma is your teacher,
your guide.
I see, Buddha.
Everything in the world changes.
I hope people can practice diligently and not relax!
The Buddha entered Parinirvana.
But his teachings spread over the entire world till this day.
The Dharma is still guiding us today after 2500 years.
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