Rahula





Many people in Kapilavatthu believed in the Tathagata and took

refuge in his doctrine, among them Nanda, Siddhattha's

halfbrother, the son of Pajapati; Devadatta, his cousin and

brother-in-law; Upali the barber; and Anuruddha the philosopher.

Some years later Ananda, another cousin of the Blessed One, also

joined the Sangha.



Ananda was a man after the heart of the Blessed One; he was his

most beloved disciple, profound in comprehension and gentle in

spirit. And Ananda remained always near the Blessed Master of

truth, until death parted them.



On the seventh day after the Buddha's arrival in Kapilavatthu,

Yasodhara dressed Rahula, now seven years old, in all the

splendor of a prince and said to him:



"This holy man, whose appearance is so glorious that he looks

like the great Brahma, is thy father. He possesses four great

mines of wealth which I have not yet seen. Go to him and entreat

him to put thee in possession of them, for the son ought to

inherit the property of his father."



Rahula replied: "I know of no father but the king. Who is my

father?"



The princess took the boy in her arms and from the window she

pointed out to him the Buddha, who happened to be near the

palace, partaking of food.



Rahula then went to the Buddha, and looking up into his face said

without fear and with much affection: "My father!"



And standing near by him, he added: "O samana, even thy shadow is

a place of bliss!"



When the Tathagata had finished his repast, he gave blessings and

went away from the palace, but Rahula followed and asked his

father for his inheritance.



No one prevented the boy, nor did the Blessed One himself.



Then the Blessed One turned to Sariputta, saying: "My son asks

for his inheritance. I cannot give him perishable treasures that

will bring cares and sorrows, but I can give him the inheritance

of a holy life, which is a treasure that will not perish."



Addressing Rahula with earnestness, the Blessed One said: "Gold

and silver and jewels are not in my possession. But if thou art

willing to receive spiritual treasures, and art strong enough to

carry them and to keep them, I shall give thee the four truths

which will teach thee the eightfold path of righteousness. Dost

thou desire to be admitted to the brotherhood of those who devote

their life to the culture of the heart seeking for the highest

bliss attainable?"



And Rahula replied with firmness: "I do. I want to join the

brotherhood of the Buddha."



When the king heard that Rahula had joined the brotherhood of

bhikkhus he was grieved. He had lost Siddhattha and Nanda, his

sons, and Devadatta, his nephew. But now that his grandson had

been taken from him, he went to the Blessed One and spoke to him.

And the Blessed One promised that from that time forward he would

not ordain any minor without the consent of his parents or

guardians.





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