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Was Buddha Married?

Buddha's Marriage

Continued from - << The Childhood of Buddha As Prince Siddhartha Gautama

Prince Siddhartha - prior to Buddha Gautama, Musée Guimet, ParisNow the time drew near, when the young prince should be married. The chief of the elders of the Sakya tribe remembered what the Brahmin Priest had predicted about the prince becoming a Buddha and implored King Subbhodana to marry his son off as soon as possible, so as to ensure the royal line was continued.

The king and his advisors hoped to bind Prince Siddhartha to the throne with an early marriage. The king dared not speak to the young prince for fear of looking like this was a forced marriage and turn against him, but the king's advisors conferred with the prince and made the marriage demand they deemed so important, giving the prince just seven days to make the right decision!

Prince Siddhartha who dreaded the 'evils of desire, more than he feared poison, fire or sword', desired of the advisors that the wife chosen for him should not be of low mind or immodest, otherwise it mattered little to him what might be her caste, so long as she had the qualities required to be his consort. The prince then gave the advisors a list he had prepared of the qualities he desired his bride to possess.

The list was presented throughout the land to all households with eligible daughters and at last one maiden said she possessed all the qualities demanded by the prince, and that if he would accept her, she would be his wife. Summoned to appear before the prince with several other beautiful girls of her own age, she was singled out by the prince, and the king gave consent for the marriage. There was a sting in the tail presented by King Suppabuddha, Prince Siddhartha's uncle, the father of the beautiful girl Yasodhara also called Gopa, in that he was not sure this young prince was worthy of his daughter's hand in marriage as she too was of royal blood and a princess, and obliged the young prince to display his talents his modesty had so far hidden.

Princess Yasodhara's father arranged a competition, promising his daughter's hand to the victor. Both the mental and physical skills of the young prince would be pitted against five hundred other young men of the kingdom. The prince won out easily on the mental skills and moved forward to the physical; leaping, swimming, running, bending the bow and a number of other games, in which he displayed as much strength as skill. By the end of the competition the hand of Yasodhara was his to have!

The king declared that Princess Yasodhara would be the first of his son's wives.

At the early age of nineteen (some say sixteen), Prince Siddhartha married his beautiful cousin, Princess Yasodhara when she was 16 years of age. For nearly thirteen years, after his happy marriage, Prince Siddhartha led a luxurious life, blissfully ignorant of the vicissitudes of life outside the palace gates.

Next >> Of his luxurious life as prince (coming soon).

Buddha image probably from Pakistan in the Dhayana Mudra - Seated

Buddha states:

"I was delicate, excessively delicate. In my father's dwelling three lotus-ponds were made purposely for me. Blue lotuses bloomed in one, red in another, and white in another. I used no sandal-wood that was not of Kasi. My turban, tunic, dress and cloak, were all from Kasi."

"Night and day a white parasol was held over me so that I might not be touched by heat or cold, dust, leaves or dew."

"There were three palaces built for me - one for the cold season, one for the hot season, and one for the rainy season. During the four rainy months, I lived in the palace for the rainy season without ever coming down from it, entertained all the while by female musicians. Just as, in the houses of others, food from the husks of rice together with sour gruel is given to the slaves and workmen, even so, in my father's dwelling food with rice and meat was given to the slaves and workmen."

With time, truth gradually dawned upon him. Siddhartha Gautama contemplative nature and boundless compassion did not permit him to spend his time in the mere enjoyment of the fleeting pleasures of the Royal palace. Prince Siddhartha knew no personal grief but felt a deep pity for suffering humanity. Amidst comfort and prosperity, Prince Siddhartha realized the universality of sorrow.

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The Buddhist Flag
First hoisted in 1885 in Sri Lanka, is a symbol of faith and peace used throughout the world to represent the Buddhist faith.

Buddhist Flag Picture - Buddhist Flag Colours - The Buddhist Flag Sri Lanka 1885

Buddhist Flag Meanings
Blue: Universal Compassion
Yellow: The Middle Path
Red: Blessings
White: Purity and Liberation
Orange: Wisdom

Lotus flower - A symbol of Buddhism

The Dharma Wheel

Spokes of the Dharmachakra - "The Dharma Wheel" Meaning - The Dharma Wheel Symbol - The Dharma Wheel Image - 8 spokes representing the Noble Eightfold Path (Ariya magga)

In Buddhism—according to the Pali Canon, Vinayapitaka, Khandhaka, Mahavagga, the number of spokes of the Dharmachakra represent various meanings:

8 spokes representing the Noble Eightfold Path (Ariya magga).
12 spokes representing the Twelve Laws of Dependent Origination (Paticcasamuppada).
24 spokes representing the Twelve Laws of Dependent Origination and the Twelve Laws of Dependent Termination (Paticcasamuppada).
31 spokes representing 31 realms of existence (11 realms of desire, 16 realms of form and 4 realms of formlessness).

Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is a Japanese Buddhist chant based upon the Lotus Sutra. Nichiren Daishonin (Feb 16, 1222 – Oct 13, 1282) a Buddhist monk who lived during the Kamakura period (1185–1333) in Japan. Nichiren taught devotion to the Lotus Sutra, entitled Myōhō-Renge-Kyō in Japanese, as the exclusive means to attain enlightenment and the chanting of Nam-Myōhō-Renge-Kyō as the essential practice of the teaching. Various schools with diverging interpretations of Nichiren's teachings comprise Nichiren Buddhism.
Nam - To devote one's life
Myoho - Myo is the mystic nature of life and Ho, its manifestation
Renge - "Lotus Flower"; which symolises the ballance of cause and effect
Kyo - Sutra, the voice or teachings of Buddha (The sound or vibration that connects everything in the ubiverse)

As the Buddha had never claimed to be a god, it is evident that he never prescribed the form of worship that was to be rendered to him. A legend, however, attributes to him the institution of this form of worship

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