COMMON BUDDHIST TEXT: GUIDANCE AND INSIGHT FROM THE BUDDHA: 7f. PART I: THE BUDDHA | CHAPTER 1: THE LIFE OF THE HISTORICAL BUDDHA | Conception, birth and early life

Chief Editor: Venerable Brahmapundit
Editor: Peter Harvey

Translators: Tamás Agócs, Peter Harvey | Dharmacārī Śraddhāpa | P.D. Premasiri
G.A Somaratne | Venerable Thich Tue Sy

PART I: THE BUDDHA

 CHAPTER 1: THE LIFE OF THE HISTORICAL BUDDHA

Conception, birth and early life

L.8 Going forth

This passage is on the start of Gotama’s life of renunciation and spiritual seeking. 

Aggivessana, before my awakening, not yet fully awakened, while I was still a bodhisatta, I considered: ‘Home life is a constriction, a sphere of dust;[1] the life gone forth[2] is an open-air life. It  is not easy, while living in a home,[3] to lead the holy life absolutely perfect and entirely pure as a polished shell. Suppose I shave off my hair and beard, put on the yellow robe, and go forth from the home life into homelessness?’

Aggivessana, later while still young, a black-haired young man endowed with the blessing of youth, in the prime of life, though my mother and father wished otherwise and wept with tearful faces, I shaved off my hair and beard, put on the yellow robe, and went forth from the home life into homelessness.

Mahā-saccaka SuttaMajjhima-nikāya I.240–241, trans. G.A.S.

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[1] Of the defilements such as greed and hate.
[2] life of renunciation.
[3] In a household, that is, living a worldly life in a family.

 

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