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     Suddhodana


Suddhodana was known as the king of Kapilavatthu and also in the history as the father of Gotama Buddha. He happened to be his father since in his numerous births, for e.g., Katthahari, Alinachitta, Susimaa, Bandhanagara, Kosambi, Mahadhammapala, Dasaratha, Hatthipala, Maha-Umagga and Vessantara Jatakas.

He belonged to the family of the Sakyan. King Sihahanu and Kacchanaa were his parents. He had four brothers named as, Dhotadana, Sakkodana, Sukkodana and Amitodana; and also he had two sisters, who were, Amitaa and Pamitaa. Maya, who was the mother of Siddhattha Gotama was also his chief companion; but after her death her younger sister Pajapati became his chief companion.

When Gotama was born and the wise Asita visited the king’s court and placed the new born baby’s feet on his head, he, too, was much surprised and shocked and he also then worshipped the baby. He worshipped him again for the second time at a ploughing ceremony, when the baby was seated under the Jambu tree was immersed in meditation.

As the fortune-teller had predicted that the baby would either be a ascetic or a suzerain king, he took special care to cease him from those sights, which could inspire him to refuse the worldly life.

When Gotama became a wise and the news of his illumination was arrive to him he then sent a messenger of him with ten thousand companions to bring Buddha to Kapilavatthu again. But the messenger and his companions never returned back as they chosen to become priests and stay with their Master. The king then sent the messengers for nine more times again and again but no messenger ever came back, because they all became the followers of the Buddha. Finally, the king sent Kaludayi, a friend of the Buddha, who was born on the same day when the latter was born. He, too, became a priest but he kept his promise to enlarge the king’s invitation to the Master.

On invitation of Suddhodana, when the Buddha visited Kapilavatthu and stayed in Nigrodha Arama; he went on his usual rounds of begging, When this news was reported to the king that his son was begging in the streets of his kingdom he was horribly disturbed and was much sad to listen to this bad news. When he met and wanted an explanation from the Buddha and when the Buddha told him that there was nothing extraordinary for a Buddha to beg he was satisfied with the answer. His approval made him a Sotapanna. He became a Sakidagami, (one who could be born for the maximum of one more time) when he had heard the Buddha’s discussion after his meals in his palace, where he had invited him. Further, he became an Anagami (Never-Returnee to the worldly birth) after hearing the Buddha’s Mahadhammapala Jataka. Moreover, he became an Arahata (one who has achieved the fourth stage of the spiritual evolution; and has destroyed all worldly chains) on his death-bed when the Buddha came flying to teach him.

Suddhodana, thus, died as a lay Arahata.

 

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