Gautama Buddha: The Lord of the World

Sunday Service Children’s Story

 Materials: 

  • Pictures to show during story
  • Online video clip:  Becoming the Buddha
  • OPTIONAL:  Statues of Gautama

 Preparations:

  • Because online videos often take a few minutes to download, play the related video before the story begins to ensure that it will be ready when needed.
  • Prepare any necessary materials.
  • Invite children up to steps of altar.
  • Reader of story sits in a chair with children sitting on floor in front of her.
  • Include children’s story, even if there are no children in your congregation, to welcome families who may come to the service.
  • You can add your own creativity to the stories.  You may feel comfortable using props or presenting them just as they are written.
  • Feel free to adjust the content to fit your time frame.  However, for the spiritual development of the child, we encourage keeping as much of the Ascended Master’s Teachings as possible.

Click here for a printable version of the story.

 

Good morning!  Today we are celebrating Wesak.  Wesak takes place every full moon in Taurus.  It is the celebration of Buddha’s birth, his enlightenment and his ascension.  Each year in May on a plateau on the northern slope of the Himalayas, followers of Buddha celebrate the Wesak Festival.

During the festival, the radiation of the Buddha is anchored in the world of form through his Electronic Presence.  All of life receives his blessing, including angels, elementals, and souls walking the path of individual Christhood.

 

The Story of Prince Siddhartha Gautama – THE BUDDHA

The Birth of Prince Siddhartha

A long time ago in India, there lived a king named Suddhodana and a queen named Mahamaya.   (Show map of India.)  They were both good and kind people. One full moon night, the Queen dreamt of four devas who carried her to a lake, to rest on a soft bed. A white elephant carrying a lotus flower, went round her three times and disappeared into her. Wise men explained that the dream meant that the Queen was going to give birth to a prince.

When the time came for the baby to be born, Queen Mahamaya left the palace with the attendants to go back to her parent's home to give birth to the baby.  On the way, they passed by a beautiful park.  Queen Mahamaya took a rest in the garden.   It was there that her baby was born.

The birth took place on the fifth month of Vesakha, on a full moon day.  Queen Mahamaya then returned to the palace with her baby prince. King Suddhodana was very happy and celebrated the birth of the baby with his people all over the country.

 The Naming Ceremony

Five days after the birth of the prince, many wise men were invited to the palace for the Naming Ceremony.  Seven wise men agreed that if he stayed home, he would become a universal king, unifying India; but if he left, he would become a Buddha and remove the veil of ignorance from the world.  The youngest, Kondanna, declared that the prince would definitely become a Buddha. The wise men declared  ” The prince’s name will be Siddartha” which means “One Whose Aim is Fulfilled”.

The Childhood of the Prince

Siddhartha grew up to be kind and generous. When still in his early years, the prince witnessed a bird carrying a worm that had been turned up by the farmer's plough.  This sight caused him to think about the unhappy situation of creatures, which were killed by other creatures for food.

Seated under a rose-apple tree the young prince experienced the joy of meditation.  At another time, the compassionate prince saved the life of a swan, which had been wounded by his cousin’s arrow.

The king, concerned about the possibility of losing his heir, took every precaution to shelter his son, Siddhartha, from pain and suffering.  He surrounded the prince with every conceivable luxury, including three palaces.

The Prince Marries

At the age of sixteen, Prince Siddhartha married a beautiful young princess called Yasodhara. She loved and cared for him, and together they lived a life of royal luxury for nearly thirteen years.  (Show picture.)

The prince was protected from all the problems of life outside the palace gates.  He had all the comforts that a prince of his day could desire. Siddhartha lived in a world where there was nothing but happiness and laughter. One day, however, he wished to discover the world outside his palace and asked his dad “I would like to travel outside the palace. May I have your permission to do this?”

When the king heard this, he gave an order to the people of the city, “Have the houses along the road to the city cleaned and decorated.  Make the roads sweet with incense and have the people dressed in colorful clothing.  Make certain that all the beggars, the old and the sick stay indoors until the prince has left.”

 

The Four Sights

After some time the prince went out with his attendant, Channa. They left the palace four times.

On the first trip, the prince saw an old man. He came to know that everyone had to grow old.

On the second trip, the prince saw a sick man. He came to know that everyone could get sick any time.

On the third trip, he saw a dead body. He knew that everyone would have to die one day.

On the fourth trip, the prince saw a monk who was happy and calm.

Siddhartha made up his mind to leave home so that he could find the way to help people to find peace and happiness.

 

The Prince Leaves Home

Siddhartha left the palace.  It was midnight, and the prince was on his white horse Kanthaka with Channa, his faithful servant, holding on to its tail.  (Show picture.) He was going away to try to understand old age, sickness and death.  He rode to the bank of a river and dismounted from his horse.

He removed his jewellery and princely clothes and gave them to Channa to return to the king.  Then the prince took his sword and cut his long hair, put on monks robes, took a begging bowl and told Channa to go back with Kanthaka to the palace.

 horse

Searching for Teachers

Siddhartha wandered along the Ganges River looking for spiritual teachers.  Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta were considered to be the best teachers in meditation at that time so Siddhartha went to study with them.

Very soon the prince had learned all they had to teach, but he had not learned to end suffering. Siddhartha said to himself, “I must find the truth on my own”.

Six Years of Hardship

With his five friends, Siddhartha went to a forest near the village of Uruvela.  Here, several holy men had chosen to live in extreme poverty.

Siddhartha and the others decided to try what the holy men were doing. They believed that if they put their bodies through terrible physical hardship, they would understand the truth.   Do you think by not taking care of your body, you can find truth?  (Allow children to answer.)

Siddhartha found a quiet spot on the banks of a nearby river. There he practiced the most severe hardship. Siddhartha decided “I will eat only one grain of wheat and one sesame seed a day.” At other times, he would eat nothing at all.  His body wasted away until he was very weak.  Yet, Siddhartha sat completely still.

 

The Song of the Lute

One evening, a group of young girls on their way home passed by Siddhartha who was sitting in meditation. They were singing and playing lutes, a musical instrument.  Siddhartha thought,When the strings of the lute are loose, its sound won't carry.   When the strings are too tight, it breaks. When the strings are neither too loose nor too tight, the music is beautiful. I'm pulling my strings too tightly.  I cannot find the Way to Truth living a life of luxury or with my body so weak.”

Thus, Siddhartha decided to give up living in a way of not caring for his body as he came to know that this was not the correct way.

Soon after, while bathing in the river, Siddhartha was so weak that he fainted and fell.  Sujata, a young village girl who lived by the river, saw him and brought him a bowl of rice milk.  After his meal, he immediately felt stronger and continued his meditation.

When his five companions saw him eat, they were disgusted, thinking he'd given up.  So they left him.

 

The Sun of Enlightenment Shines

Siddhartha remembered meditating under the rose-apple tree when he was a child. I shall meditate as I did before. Perhaps that is the way to become enlightened.”  (Show picture.)  From then on he began to eat daily.

Still seeking a way to understand the meaning of life, Siddhartha set out for Bodh Gaya. Near a grove, he sat down under a huge Bodhi tree. Silently he vowed, “I will not leave this place until I find a way to end all sorrow.”  He sat there for forty-nine days. He was determined to discover the source of all pain and suffering in the world.

Mara, the evil one, tried to scare him into giving up his quest.   Mara hoped to lure Siddhartha into having selfish thoughts by sending him many tests.  But the prince’s goodness protected him from such attacks.

During this period, Siddhartha was able to see things as they truly were.  Now he had finally found the answer to suffering.  Do you know what answer he found?  (Allow children to answer.)  Siddhartha said, The cause of suffering is greed, selfishness and ignorance.  If people get rid of these negative emotions, they will be happy.

During a full-moon night in May, Siddhartha went into deep meditation.  As the morning star appeared in the eastern sky, he became an enlightened one, a Buddha.  He was thirty-five years old.

When the Buddha stood up at last, he gazed at the tree in gratitude, to thank it for having given him shelter.  From then on, the tree was known as the Bodhi tree, the tree of Enlightenment.

Siddhartha, the Buddha, became the teacher of teachers, teaching others the Middle Way or a life of balance and the way to inner peace.

 

CONCLUSION:

Gautama passed through the ritual of the ascension in the month of May at the close of that embodiment of Siddhartha.   On January 1, 1956, Gautama became Lord of the World.  He teaches us today that we too can become the Buddha.   Let’s watch a short video excerpt of our beloved Guru Ma teaching us about becoming the Buddha.  (Play online video clip.)

Jesus taught us that we can become the Christ as he did.  Now we know that we can also also become the Buddha as Siddhartha did.  

Thank you for celebrating Wesak with us here today.  Have a wonderful day.

 

 

 

Children’s Spiritual Story Library


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