Today I am going to tell you about a Prince whose name was Siddhartha.
He lived in the country of Nepal, in the North of India. For the first
part of his young life, he led a life full of joy and luxury. No shade of
unhappiness crossed his path.
Then young Siddhartha saw a very old man. He was surprised to know, that one
day, if he lived long enough, he would become old. As the prince was coming to
terms with that fact, he saw a very ill man. He asked, those with him, if there
was a possibility that he could fall ill one day. And he was told, that the body
goes out of order sometimes.
Then young Siddhartha saw a man who had just died. All the above experiences
made young Siddhartha realize, that even though life was joyful, there was a lot
of unhappiness in the world.
At that time, Siddhartha was married to a beautiful young girl, whose name
was Yashodara, and had a young son called Rahul. The prince started to think
deeply about why man suffered. In order to be able to devote more time to his
quest, Siddhartha left his kingdom, wife and child and went into the forest. The
prince went through a lot of hardships. Can you imagine a prince who had been
born on the midst of luxury, neither having anything to eat, nor a bed to sleep
Then young Siddhartha realized that too much of hardship, makes it hard to
concentrate, think and meditate! Too much of comfort was also not the answer, as
then, there are too many distractions. So, young Siddhaartha figured out, that
the best way to learn, was through the middle way.
Not too much of luxury, not too much hardships Not too much food, not too
little food Not too much work, not too little work Not studying all the time,
not playing all the time. Dear children, don't you think that is the best way to
Siddhartha, while following the middle path, continued to look for the
meaning of life, and the way to be 'beyond suffering'. One day, sitting under a
tree, he suddenly discovered, what he had been looking for all his life.
Siddhartha from now on, would become known as 'Gautama Buddha', the
Buddha returned home and taught his family what he had learned. But he did
not stay home. He had a big responsibility. That responsibility was to teach the
world. Buddha wandered in India, for the next 40 years, teaching.
What he taught, I shall tell you, next time, ok?
With love Dadi Ma Nani-Ma
BUDDHA-THE EIGHT-FOLD PATH
Last time, I told you about Siddhartha, who became the Buddha. Today I shall
tell you about what he taught. I am not going to tell you a story today. But I
shall introduce you to what the Great Buddha taught. Do you remember how Buddha
went through so many difficulties? Well, he suffered so much in order to teach
us the following rules. I shall try to explain them to you in an easy way. Every
time, you are unhappy, look up the following rules, and you will realize what
you have done wrong. You will then realize why you are unhappy, and what you can
do to correct it. If you follow these rules, you will learn to be happy with
The rules are a little difficult, but you are bright children, so I know that
you will be able to understand, what I am about to tell you. Last time I told
you how young Siddhaartha figured out, that the best way to learn how to live,
was through the middle way.
Not too much of luxury, not too much hardships
Not too much food, not too little food
Not too much work, not too little work
Not studying all the time, not playing all the time.
Buddha taught his followers 'The eight-fold Path'.
What do you believe in? Is it right? Or are you carried away by what your
wayward friend advises? I would say: Besides other good things you may believe,
Believe in God, but most of all, believe in yourself. You are God's creation. As
such you are capable, good, kind and lovable. Believe it!
2) Right Aims.
What is it that you hope to achieve? Maybe some of you would like to be doctors
or scientists or pilots… The list is endless. I would say be what you want to
be, but add the quality of good and fair and compassionate and loving…
3) Right Speech.
Speak truthfully, clearly, sweetly, lovingly. You will be able to get your point
across, better, when you are calm, rather than when you are agitated.
4) Right Conduct.
I would say, take help from your elders, Listen to those who are wiser than you,
and have more experience than you do. Think in your mind, and pray for help as
to how you should act. I believe that your prayers will be answered.
5) Right Occupation.
According to me, 'right occupation' is, how you spend your time. It could also
mean, the right way to earn a living. There is the right time, to do the right
thing; and also, the right thing to do at the right time! Is that difficult to
understand? Think a little about it and you will. Understand, I mean.
6) Right Effort.
The above, according to me, is very important. Have you heard the saying: 'God
helps those, who help themselves?' Well, you can only leave the results to God,
after you have put in your best efforts, right?
7) Right Thinking.
To think right is very important, dear children. And do you know how to think
right? You think right by listening to your elders and teachers. Also by reading
good books and practicing what you learn.
8) Right Concentration.
You know that when you are distracted and do not pay attention, you cannot learn
anything. So you must learn to concentrate on the task at hand. Concentration
can also mean meditation.
In 'Living Buddha Living Christ' Thich Nhat Hanh writes:
...In Buddhist monasteries, we eat our meals in silence to make it easier to
give our full attention to the food and to the other members of the community
who are present. And we chew each morsel of food thoroughly, at least thirty
times, to help us be truly in touch with it. Eating this way is very good for
Before every meal, a monk or a nun recites the Five Contemplations:
This food is the gift of the whole universe-the earth, the sky, and much hard
May we live in a way that is worthy of this food
May we transform our unskillful states of mind, especially that of greed.
May we eat only foods that nourish us and prevent illness.
May we accept this food for the realization of the way of understanding and
Dear children, I repeat that I know, that I have not told you a story
today. I again tell you that, I have introduced you to what the Great Buddha
taught. I state again, Do you remember how Buddha went through so many
difficulties? Well, he suffered so much in order to teach us the above rules. I
have tried to explain them to you in an easy way. Every time, you are unhappy,
look up the above rules, and you will realize what you have done wrong. You will
then realize why you are unhappy, and what you can do to correct it. If you
follow these rules, you will learn to be happy with yourself.
Read Message of Masters: Lord Buddha