Myth-Folklore Unit: The Life of Buddha

Overview. This reading unit contains "Part One" of The Life of Buddha by Andre Ferdinand Herold, beginning with the supernatural birth of Prince Siddhartha, son of King Suddhodana and Queen Maya. There then follows an account of his life as a fortunate and contented young man enjoying all the pleasures that life has to offer. Next come the famous "three encounters" that make Prince Siddhartha suddenly aware of suffering in the world. Unable to bear this awareness, Siddhartha retreats into the wilderness, seeking wisdom as a hermit until the moment that he finally achieves enlightenment under the "Tree of Knowledge," or Bodhi Tree. That is where the reading selection stops, but Parts Two and Three of the book are also available online if you want to learn more about the Buddha's later life and teachings, the monastic community that he founded, and his final departure from this world into nirvana.

Language. This book is a contemporary English translation of the French original; the language should not pose any difficulties.

Story Length. This unit contains a single overarching story that has been broken up into individual episodes.

Navigation. You will find the table of contents below, and you can also use this link to see the story posts displayed on two pages total: The Life of Buddha. Click "Older Posts" at the bottom of that page to see the second page.

  1. Maya's Dream
  2. Birth of Siddhartha
  3. Asita's Prediction
  4. Siddhartha at the Temple
  5. Siddhartha's First Meditation
  6. First Encounter
  7. Two More Encounters
  8. The Fair Maidens and Gopa's Dream
  9. The Great Truths
  1. Siddhartha Leaves
  2. Siddhartha the Hermit
  3. Gopa and Suddhodana Grieve
  4. Arata Kalama
  5. Siddhartha and King Vimbasara
  6. Siddhartha Deserted by His First Disciples
  7. The Tree of Knowledge
  8. Mara's Defeat
  9. Siddhartha Becomes the Buddha

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