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Buddhist stories of children who made an impact to the society

Dear All,

I am looking for inspirational buddhist stories of children who made an impact to the society? Can be from the Buddha’s time or modern times. Do let me know if you know of any.
Thank you.

Best Regards,
Ben

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The Buddha’s childhood experience which becomes the basis of renunciation feeling:

“I thought: ‘I recall once, when my father the Sakyan was working, and I was sitting in the cool shade of a rose-apple tree, then — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful mental qualities — I entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Could that be the path to Awakening?’ Then following on that memory came the realization: ‘That is the path to Awakening.’ I thought: ‘So why am I afraid of that pleasure that has nothing to do with sensuality, nothing to do with unskillful mental qualities?’ I thought: 'I am no longer afraid of that pleasure that has nothing to do with sensuality, nothing to do with unskillful mental qualities,”—MN 36

The arising of non-sensual pleasure is dependent on a natural environment. I think the the age of extinction may be due to western aversion towards nature due to associating it with sensuality. That is not necessarily true, as the Buddha recommended the foot of a tree as the starting point for meditation.

Recent secular thinking taken from the internet:

“The healing of love isn’t limited to erotic love – it also includes a new relationship to all of nature and its creatures. We must reintegrate our human world into the overall world of life to heal the pain of separation. Ultimately this means connecting with the divine center in all things. When we see the qualities of a being that belongs in its entirety to the sacred world, then there can be no hostility.”

As an adult but before the above awakening, the bodhisatta through investigation found that lack of vexation was fostered by renunciation thought:

“And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with renunciation arose in me. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with renunciation has arisen in me; and that leads neither to my own affliction, nor to the affliction of others, nor to the affliction of both. It fosters discernment, promotes lack of vexation, & leads to Unbinding.”—MN 19

This relates to the Anapanasati second tetrad where joy and pleasure are induced, and the second foundation of mindfulness, where feelings are divided into those of the flesh and not of the flesh.

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Indeed, had Buddha-to-be not had that experience as a child he would not have that memory to rescue him from the jain-like path of self-mortification he was on… :mindblown:

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Can you give an example of what you are looking for? There are some stories of children who became arahants in the Dhammapada commentary.

I am looking for inspirational stories of young children being wise and made an impact to the society.

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There’s a series of stories from a certain lifetime of the Bodhisatta when he was a sage of extraordinary wisdom named Mahosadha, a kind of Paul Bunyan of wisdom, who solved problems, spoke wisdom and settled people’s disputes starting when he was a young child - including a King Solomon type resolution regarding a stolen baby… Jataka #542

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Thank you very much.

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A very famous story often taught to children, which I’ll call The Boy Who Went to Heaven, from Vimana Vatthu the Book of Mansions #53

(Just before he would be attacked by thieves and die, a boy walking down the road learned the Dhamma and resolved to keep Precepts for life. After he was attacked and killed, he was reborn a great deity in heaven simply due to faith and Precepts.)

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The spirit boy who saved his father, in Petavatthu Book of Ghost Stories Pv17

There’s a backstory only hinted at here. A boy was sick but his wealthy father was too stingy to seek medical care. When it was too late to save his child, the father realized that many well-wishers would come when he died, so heartlessly placed his boy outdoors on the veranda, to prevent anyone from coming into the house and seeing things to steal.

From the veranda, the boy saw light from the Buddha (who walked nearby to help the child). The boy gained faith in the Buddha, and died with strong faith in his heart; this faith cause him to be reborn as a spirit in heaven.

Then the boy’s father nearly went mad from grief for his deceased son, and wept bitterly at the cemetery, crying aloud for his child. The angel boy, seeing his father’s grief, made a plan to save him.

That is where this story begins.

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No one but a wise 7 year old boy was able to answer the King’s question:

Jataka #515

(Translated in 1905 the language is difficult to read, so you may want to ask a monk to re-translate it for you.)


Edit:
The S&D algorithm has scolded me for making too many posts, and barred me from making any more, lol!

I tried posting to your response instead, but am barred from that. It wants me to edit my replies to add any more material. Sigh. Ok…

An enlightened monk described in his Theragatha poem some extraordinary powers he had already gained as a child novice. Thag6.10

(There’s more backstory in the Commentary, but I don’t recall it clearly, maybe ask a monk)


Edit 2

This is a favorite of mine, but will have to be retold without the misogyny.

Essentially, a man decided to kill his burdensome elderly father, and began preparations by digging a grave; his own little boy began digging another grave beside it. The wise child explained that the 2nd grave will be for his own father when - following his example - the boy will one day kill him in turn. The man came to his senses and took his father and son home.
Jataka 446


Edit 3

A wise boy cleverly saves his father from overwhelming grief (using the carcass of an ox)
Jataka #352

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