Arriving at Kapilavastu, Kaludayin went to the palace to report the Buddha’s return to King Suddhodana, Queen Pajapati and Yasodhara. Then he took his bowl alone and went back to the southeast to meet the Buddha.
He applied the alms practice of the mendicant congregation, day and night resting, stopping only at the time of begging for alms in villages and hamlets. Wherever he went, he also informed that Prince Siddhattha had ordained to become a monk and was about to return. Nine days later, he met the Buddha and the mendicant group. Overjoyed, he joined the delegation and went to Kapilavastu together. Only the Venerable Sariputta and about three hundred mendicants followed the Buddha, while the others remained in Venuvana with the Venerable Moggallana, Kondanna and Uruvela Kassapa. Buddha and wherever the congregation went, they were warmly welcomed by the people.
After 60 days of traveling, day and night, the Buddha and his congregation returned to Kapilavastu, and stayed at Nigrodha Park outside the southern gate of the city. The next morning, the Buddha and the Sangha hugged their bowls and entered the city for alms. The sight of three hundred mendicants wearing yellow kashāyas, holding bowls in their hands, quietly dignified begging in the city made a great impression on the hearts of the people of the capital. Soon the news was reported to the palace. King Suddhodana, Queen Pajapati and Princess Yasodhara were informed that Prince Siddhattha was currently begging in the city with hundreds of other mendicants. The king ordered the charioteer to take him to meet the crown prince. The queen and Rahula, mother and daughter, waited nervously in the palace. When he arrived at the southern gate of the city, he met a group of mendicants. The martial officer who served the king immediately recognized the crown prince.
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– Your Majesty, the other mendicant in the lead is indeed the crown prince.
The king suddenly recognized his son. The posture of the Buddha is majestic, slow, holding a bowl and standing in front of a poor house. He stood solemnly, quietly, as if begging was the most important thing in life. A modestly dressed young woman came out of the house, holding a potato, knelt down at the Buddha’s feet, and respectfully placed the potato in the bowl. The Buddha respectfully bowed in return, then quietly said goodbye, walked to the house next door. The king got out of the car and went straight to the Buddha. The Buddha also just noticed the king. Their eyes looked at each other with love and affection. The king could not contain his emotions and called:
The Buddha handed the bowl over to the attendant, then took the king’s father’s hands in his own. Two tears slowly rolled down the king’s wrinkled cheeks. The Buddha looked at the king with gentle, warm eyes to comfort people. The king knew that Siddhattha was now no longer a princely prince, but a recluse, a famous teacher with thousands of disciples. The king wanted to hug the Buddha, but knew it was not good to do so. Finally, the king folded his hands and bowed to the Buddha in the manner of a king bowing to a Taoist. The martial manservant also imitated the king, folded his hands and bowed to the Buddha. The Buddha replied and then turned to the Venerable Sariputta:
– Teacher, continue to guide the Sangha on alms round, then return to Nigrodha Park to eat and rest. The Tathagata and Nagasamala visited the royal family, lived there and this afternoon we will return to the monks.
Venerable Sariputta received the order, bowed to the king and Buddha, and then retreated. The king looked at the Buddha and said reproachfully:
– I thought that when you come back, you will go to the palace immediately to visit your wife’s parents and then have dinner. Why don’t you go straight to the palace but go begging on the street?
– My lord, I am not alone. There is also a group of mendicants following me, and I am responsible for guiding the accommodation and activities of the congregation.
But why do you embarrass the royal family like that? Why do I have to beg for food in such poor houses? The Sakya family from the reign of King Maha-Sammata (Great Mao Thao) until now, has anyone done that!?
“Dear father, no one in the royal family does this, but all the Buddhas and the mendicant family from the time of Buddha Dipankara to the time of Buddha Kassapa, everyone did it. Dear Father, begging for alms is a practice to practice the spirit of humility and equality. When you receive a potato from a poor family, you should also have the same respectful attitude as when you receive a luxurious dish from an emperor, because all sentient beings have Buddha nature, have the possibility of attaining liberation and enlightenment. In society there are many disparities in property and power. In the teachings that I found, everyone is equal because everyone has the full potential to become a Buddha. Yes, yes, you are also fully capable of enlightenment and becoming a Buddha, I hope you from now on vigorously practice the pure lifestyle of a saint. Anyone who lives a holy life will have much happiness in this life and in the life to come.
After hearing the Buddha’s words, King Suddhodana immediately attained Tu-da-complete. The king was surprised and delighted to realize that his son had now become a respected spiritual leader. The father and son quietly walked together back to the palace.
Meanwhile Queen Gotami, Princess Yasodhara, Princess Sundari Nanda and Rahula were standing upstairs looking down, seeing all that was happening. When the king and Buddha were nearing the palace, Yasodhara took his son’s hand with one hand and pointed at the Buddha with the other and said:
– Hey Rahula, do you see the monk walking beside that grandfather?
– Yes, I did.
– He is the father of that child. I ran down to say hello to my father. My father has a very precious inheritance. I went down to ask my father for my inheritance.
Rahula obeyed her mother ran downstairs, across the courtyard, ran to the palace gate, grabbed Buddha’s hand, breathed and said:
– Monk, my mother told me to ask him for an inheritance. Where is my inheritance, give it to me.
The Buddha sat down and hugged Rahula, saying:
– My fortune? All right, release it and I’ll give it to you.
Buddha, left hand holding Rahula’s hand, right hand holding father’s hand, the three of them entered the palace.
Queen Gotami asked Yasodhara and Sundari Nanda to go down to the courtyard to greet the king and Buddha. Yasodhara said:
– Madam, the prince left in the middle of the night without saying goodbye to me. For the past seven years, there has been no message from me. All information about the crown prince is known to me. So now the prince is here, if you still think about me, go to the palace to find me.
Queen Gotami sought to comfort Yasodhara and then asked Sundari Nanda to come down to the courtyard with her. As soon as he arrived at the courtyard, he saw the king and Buddha entering the royal garden, and the two of them followed him in.
The warm weather has begun. In the upper garden, hundreds of flowers race to bloom. Birds chirping on branches. The scene was so joyful and happy to reunite. As soon as Queen Gotami and Sundari Nanda stepped forward, the Buddha greeted:
– Mother! I’m Sundari! And where are Yasodhara and Nanda?
– My brother is going to practice martial arts, he will probably come back soon. As for Yasodhara, he berated me for leaving him without saying good-bye, and for seven years I have not heard from him. He said if you still think about him, go to the palace and meet him. Poor! Yasodhara was a very courageous woman. After you left, there were many noble princes of the Kshatriya looked around to ask but it all refused. When he heard that you were living the monkhood, he also took off all his precious gold necklaces and put on golden robes. She often followed my news and was very sad during my ascetic time in Uruvela. When it was known that the child only ate one meal a day, he also ate one meal a day; When it is known that the child is not on the high bed, it is also on the lower bed. Yasodhara is such a pitiful, perfectly virtuous young woman.
– Mom, I know. Mother and Yasodhara were two courageous and virtuous women. Soon I will visit Yasodhara. Wow, Sundari Nanda is growing up so fast!
“Siddhattha,” said the king, tell everyone about the years you searched for a teacher, practiced asceticism, and attained enlightenment. Everyone wants to know how you’ve lived these past seven years.
Obedient to the king, the Buddha began to briefly describe when he left the imperial city, when he studied with guru Alara Kalama and guru Uddaka Ramaputta, when he practiced asceticism in Uruvela with the five Kondanna brothers, when he became a monk under the tree. when he turned the wheel of Dharma at Isipatana, when he met King Bimbisara again, and the king organized a great offering and gave Venuvana the throne as a monastery for the Sangha . Warm Buddha voice. He gave an overview of what had happened, and took this opportunity to plant the seeds of the Dharma in the hearts of the loved ones who were listening. The Buddha had just finished telling, the king attained Tu-da-ham (Sakadagami) and Queen Maha Pajapati obtained Tu-da-complete (Sotapanna). Nanda, Buddha’s half-brother has just arrived. The Buddha looked at Nanda and said:
– I’m back! Well, you always look happy and healthy. I’m already engaged, right? When is the wedding ceremony?
– Yes, everyone waits for me to return for a few days to have a wedding ceremony. I look very different to you.
“That’s right,” said Queen Gotami, “Your father is waiting for you to come back to make Nanda crown prince at the same time as Janapada-Kalyani’s marriage.
Queen Gotami told Nanda to join hands to salute the Buddha in the manner of a Taoist. Nanda happily complied. At the behest of Queen Gotami, a hearty vegetarian meal was served in the upper garden at noon. King asked:
– What did the two masters beg for?
– Yes, I just got a potato. And Mr. Nagasamala has not received anything yet.
– Then let me make offerings to the two teachers.
The king got up to pour food into bowls for Buddha and teacher Nagasamala. The Buddha, Kaludayin and Nagasamala finished their vows, and everyone ate their food in silence amidst the sound of birds chirping on the branches.
After the meal, Queen Pajapati Gotami advised the Buddha to go to the palace to visit Yasodhara. The Buddha, with Kaludayin and his attendant Nagasamala, went to Yasodhara’s room. The Buddha sat down on the seat prepared for him. He told everyone to let the princess bow as she liked, not to say anything. Princess Yasodhara and her attendants, all dressed in yellow, came to pay their respects at the Buddha’s feet. Finished, the princess respectfully sat to one side, two tears running down her cheeks. The Buddha praised her virtue and narrated the Canda-kinnara Jataka . story about his relationship with the princess in many past lives, and recalling the princess’s promise in a past life,…