A Sketch of the Buddha's Life

Readings from the Pali Canon

13,055 words

This modest selection of excerpts from the Pali Canon provides a rough sketch of the life of the Buddha. I hope you will find enough in this rather sparse selection to gain at least an inkling both of the range of the Buddhas teachings and of the sweeping trajectory of his extraordinary life....

The Buddha Teaches His Family

Including His Son Rahula

"Renouncing the five pleasures of sense that entrance and delight the mind, and in faith departing from home, become one who makes an end of suffering!

"Associate with good friends and choose a remote lodging, secluded, with little noise. Be moderate in eating. Robes, alms food, remedies and a dwelling, -- do not have craving for these things; do not be one who returns to the world. Practice restraint according to the Discipline, and control the five sense faculties.

"Practice mindfulness of the body and continually develop dispassion (towards it). Avoid the sign of the beautiful connected with passion; by meditating on the foul cultivate a mind that is concentrated and collected.

"Meditate on the Sign less and get rid of the tendency to conceit. By thoroughly understanding and destroying conceit you will live in the (highest) peace."

In this manner the Lord repeatedly exhorted the Venerable Rahula.

[Snp II.11]

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