Posted on: November 8, 2021 Posted by: admin Comments: 0


Towards the end of his six-year period of intensive practice, Siddhartha realized that asceticism showed no potential for happiness or conditions for enlightenment. Therefore, he gave up asceticism and mortification to the point of near exhaustion.

He also realized that simply meditating and resting the mind in boundless space, as his ascetic masters had taught him, there would never be an end to suffering in the three realms of Desire, Form, and Formless. Therefore, the Crown Prince determined to follow his own Middle Way.

Prince Siddhartha left home to study with two famous Hindu Brahmin teachers, Ara-la-kalan (Alara Kalama) and Ud-daka-la-matu (Udaka Ramaputta). They instructed him to reflect on the vanity of all things and meditate on abiding. But after only a very short time, the Prince realized that these teachings would not be able to end the suffering of the three realms of Desire, Form, and Formless. So the Prince went to the forest on the banks of the Ni Lien Chan (Neranja) river and joined the group of five ascetic monks including Kieu Tran Nhu (Anjanata), A Thuyet Thi (Ashvajit), Madame Ba (Vaspa), Ma Ha Nam (Mahanama) and Bodhi (Badrika). These people later became the first five great disciples of the Buddha.

He gave up asceticism and torture to the point of exhaustion.

The ascetic path of Venerable Mahakasyapa

During this time, the Prince strictly applied the ascetic practice of mortification, meditating on a state of awareness as vast as space. The scriptures record that, for the first two years, he ate almost nothing but a few sesame seeds; For the next two years, he only drank water, and the last two years the Buddha did not eat anything. During that period of extreme asceticism, His body became emaciated, black as dry bones, people called Him Black Mani. He never moved, just sat in meditation so still as a rock, that ants even nested right under his seat. The water buffalo and the buffalo-herding children were all surprised to see this strange Black Mani. Some naughty children even heated an iron poker and poked him in his ear to tease him.

While he was meditating, the gods appeared in the sky and spoke to Bodhisattva Siddhartha that his mother was reborn in the Tusita heaven. During the six years of ascetic practice, Bodhisattva Siddhartha only spoke once, to advise the gods not to worry about him, because he would soon attain Enlightenment. The gods were delighted to hear these words and hurried back to the celestial realm to tell the news to His mother, Queen Ma Da.

Towards the end of his six-year period of intensive practice, the Bodhisatta wondered why he was trying to practice the path of extremes, for the asceticism showed no potential for bringing joy or supporting enlightenment. Therefore, he gave up asceticism and mortification to the point of near exhaustion. He also realized that merely meditating and resting the mind in boundless space, as the ascetic masters had taught him, there would never be an end to suffering in the three realms. Therefore, the Crown Prince determined to follow his own Middle Way.

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