Rediscovering the Buddha: Legends of the Buddha and Their Interpretation

By Hans H. Penner | Go to book overview

10
The Buddha Goes Home

With the earth refreshed with monsoon rains, the Buddha decided that it was time to keep his promise to Kaludayin and visit home. It would be a long trip, some three hundred miles. When he arrived at Kapilavatthu along with a great multitude of ascetics, he was directed to Nigrodha Park for his residence. The town folk, hearing that he had arrived, started for the grove but were stopped short by a proclamation from the king stating, “No one is to go to the grove before me.”

On his way to the grove, the king met a group of monks with alms bowls and asked his ministers, “Who are these renouncers?” “They belong to the prince, sir,” they replied. This really troubled the king. “Had my son not renounced his royal position and left home he would be a universal king of the four quarters, having the whole world as his domain. I do not want to see them. Send them all away,” he said. Several attempts were made by others, but no one could change the king’s mind. Moggallana, possessed of immense powers of the mind, knew that the Buddha was thinking about sending Kaludayin. He went over and told Kaludayin about the Buddha’s thoughts. But Kaludayin resisted, saying, “It is very difficult to approach and suggest anything to a king. It is as difficult as approaching a blazing bonfire, a sixty-year-old elephant, or a ferocious lion.” Then the Buddha himself replied, “Listen to me, Kaludayin. You are among those who repose in the perfection of merit. You can easily placate the king; you, who have shared so

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