SuttaCentral

Search to end suffering

Siddharth Gautam the buddha to be was kept in pleasure world by his father the king to ensure he don’t turn into ascetic, free from suffering, Old age, death sorrow etc. he was also literate to top class and could recite all vedas etc, on demand. It’s only later in his life when he saw old age, death and grief all around he gave up the lifestyle and went in search to end suffering Not just for him but all of us as well and attained nibbana.

One question still remains for me is during his education how come he might not have studied Or come across death, as Geeta and other scripture are full of describing all aspects of life or wondering whether they were deliberately omitted from his curriculum

Does sutta have any references here why?

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Hi Sumants,

I hope you find the following article by Bhikkhu Bodhi relevant to your question:

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/bps-essay_32.html

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I don’t have answer to your question fully but there is a clue that a mantra in the Veda that he mentioned might also show his real goal inspiration/intention that might have let him of going forth.

And there is his mention of this. And I searched more in Vedas. And I found verses exactly to what is the freedom that is searched by Buddha.

This is in my study notes. I don’t have exact reference.

“Sāvitrī the glory of Vedic hymns”-Buddha

When I searched for Savitar hymns I found some interesting stuff.

“Grant us freedom from three types of sin – sins of improper thinking, improper speech, and improper action.”-Rg Veda(Savitar)

“Drives away sickness”-Rg Veda(Savitar)

“We ask you to steer us away from an evil path.”-Rg Veda(Savitar)

“That we may know aright both truth and falsehood”-Veda

“Make us walk erect. Protect us, by your splendor, from evil. Vanquish the evil.”-Veda

“The love of all things moving.”-Veda

“Savitar the Father of truth”-Veda

And the mantra that Buddha asked to do the Brahmin to show he has knowledge of Vedas. When the man told Buddha that he Buddha is not a Brahmin. He responded to the man if you say I’m not a Brahmin then tell me what is The Gayatri metre that has twenty−four syllables. So he made the man without words since he couldn’t respond to that. The sutta followed with him asking another question. That’s like the question Buddha asked him showed his knowledge. So let me ask him further questions. Get it? I think it in sutta nipata

When you search in Wikipedia it has different translation but one translation is connected to what I searched above this.

Ralph T.H. Griffith: “May we attain that excellent glory of Savitar the god: So may he stimulate our prayers.”

I don’t know if his translation is more precise but this must be no coincidence

So I think reading all the above. You get the picture. The source of inspiration for him to want to drive away sickness etc.

But another translation is

  • (1947): “We meditate on the effulgent glory of the divine Light; may he inspire our understanding.”

And another end it with.

May he enlighten our understandings.

Then this is the two things Buddha hinted for his inspiration. And Savitar is all about liberation from things. Sin , evil , sickness etc

I thought because you mentioned about Veda. So yeah Buddha do mention these two clue.

Wait do you mean Gita? If it is. It came after Buddha. I have study that also. It is part of Mahabharata. That has mentioned of some Buddhists inside of the book. And the river that is mentioned in Buddhist scriptures which was still active. In Mahabharata is already in its drying phase. Many Hindu scriptures believe it or not came as a response to Buddhism. The scriptures of Buddha time only the Vedas and the two oldest Upanishad which is has nothing much compared to Buddha knowledge. Only one or two things I found that Buddha might had used to preach to Brahmins. Since they know it.

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This link shows Mahabharata before Buddha’s birth.

The Puranic chronology gives a timeline of Hindu history according to the Hindu scriptures. Two central dates are the Mahabharata War, which according to this chronology happened at 3138 BCE, and the start of the Kali Yuga, which according to this chronology started at 3102 BCE

That’s exactly right and I am with you, till 29 years of age Buddha didn’t knew what pain, illness or suffering and sorrow is, and wondering how it’s possible while he had studied all 4 vedas and his teacher mentioned him to be the brightest student. Specifically Atharvaveda describes methods of performing surgery on fracture etc

The Atharvaveda includes mantras and verses for treating a variety of ailments. For example, the verses in hymn 4.15 of the recently discovered Paippalada version of the Atharvaveda, discuss how to deal with an open fracture, and how to wrap the wound with Rohini plant (Ficus Infectoria, native to India):[42]

I just gave the verses that he himself said to be best hymns. He didn’t say a specific one. But you have to accept reality. There is two things together. It must be him seeing death. And had heard that there can be a escape. Who knows if he went to ask his royal family Vedas master of what he has seen? I’m not saying he accepted everything in Vedas. But the proof I have found in Pali sutta itself. Savitar is said a little bit different in Pali but that what he mentioned is Savitar. Which I search all 4 Vedas. It took me much time. There is bunch nonsense. But remember he also he met also a sramana who inspired him to go forth. Who knows what they talked. Maybe that sramana gave him a response to his questions of what he has seen , disease, old age, dead. Etc As a response who knows all what he said. But also I didn’t specifically select any specific verses. I wonder why Buddha said that. I downloaded a pdf of all 4 Vedas. In the fourth because maybe Buddha didn’t know about that. Savitar I searched in my iBooks. If you want and can do the same it’s the easiest way to things in a book. Just search Savitar. But Actually now I remember. The pdf I found actually had a cool content director. So I had to just click the hymns. I went to all one by one. It’s mostly in Rig Veda. This is the way I study.

And about Mahabharata my friend it’s just like when Buddha died. When person died thing are not written down immediately. With is different, they started simple teachings to make more suttas with things we cannot be sure he taught. It very difficult.

But I also believed like you. But let me search for you in my notes. I forgot. I do still have the Mahabharata book. What you want to search? First of all don’t believe anything scholars say immediately searching online. Read the book yourself. And search what is the earliest manuscript date. If it’s so important to India why there is not early dated manuscript in temple or something. Even the whole of Rig Veda can not be sure anymore to be from the time of Buddha. There is early parts of the manuscript and later.

An example from Wikipedia

Certain books and chapters in currently surviving Shiva Purana manuscripts were likely composed later, some after the 3rd century CE.[6] The Shiva Purana, like other Puranas in Hindu literature, were routinely edited, recast and revised over the centuries.

Some chapters of currently surviving Shiva Purana manuscripts were likely composed after the 1st century CE.

Notice that even this is a popular tantric text but look what they say.

That war in Mahabharata happened maybe it’s true by tradition. But most of it is latter added. Especially the Gita. Which is just a Hindu version of Buddha. Have you read later Chinese Buddhist scriptures Tripitaka. Buddha is said the a gold and blue skin. While I think in Pali says is like a gold complexion. That’s the from later when Mahayana was in its starting phase. What color is Krishna? Blue right? And does Mahayana when started making stories mention anything about krishna? Which is 2 CE movement. I say this because they mix a lot of Vedas , Hinduism stuff with Buddhism.

Let look one Mahayana text.

Let us for example see The Lankavatara Sutra

According to Asanga Tillekharatna, “it is generally believed that the sutra was compiled during 350-400 CE,”

Exactly when Mahayana is in its “starting to become popular phase”

Four translations of the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra were made from Sanskrit into the Chinese language between roughly 420 CE and 704, the earliest being attributed in the 5th Century.

Next for me then if Gita was so popular by that time they should mention something.

Let us search in the text.

I will search also in Mahabharata what I told you . But give me time. I can’t find my notes.

But I searching this text there is mention of Vishnu. Like even Hindu scriptures indentify Buddha as Vishnu. As a way to claim is there god. They said that people didn’t notice that Buddha was Vishnu. So who didn’t notice that , got lost.

Now Krishna is also said to a version of Vishnu. So who they started to say this sort tradition first? You have to search a lot it’s endless.

Let go back to the text. There is this

At that time there came to the Blessed One the King of the Nagas, called Krishnapakshaka, who assumed the body of a Brahman and said thus: Gautama, is there not another world?

But there is note.

There is no allusion in the Chinese versions to this dialogue between Krishnapakshaka and the Buddha.

Who is Krishnapakshaka? I don’t know. But I searched and it’s a name use for one of moon phases.

Note also Manjushri Bodhisattva first mention of Mahayana. Like to mention Vishnu also

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Ok my friend. I found my note. What you search is about the Sarasvati river in two tradition. Mahabharata and Pali Canon.

A search itself in Suttacentral of that river you can’t find much suttas with mention of that river. But it’s enough evidence that the tradition is dated when that river was probably still active and alive.

So let go through that.

Oh, when will I cross the Ganges, Yamunā,
and Sarasvatī rivers, the Pātāla country,
and the dangerous Baḷavāmukha sea,
by psychic power, without hindrance? When will it be?

Read the whole sutta. Probably the oldest part of Pali canon.

And

Then the Buddha addressed Sundarika in verse:

“The Bāhuka and the Adhikakka,
the Gaya and the Sundarika too,
Sarasvatī and Payāga,
and the river Bāhumati:
a fool can constantly plunge into them
but it won’t purify their dark deeds.

One beautiful sutta

This enough evidence to show that river still needed to be crossed and people could bathe in it.

And during Rig Veda time it probably even larger.

Rg Veda - “Sarasvati, the mighty flood”

But a little search of the fact of that river in Wikipedia before I finish.

Sarasvati is not only mentioned separately in the Rig Veda , but is described as having dried up by the time of the composition of the later Vedas and Hindu epics.

Look Buddha is probably wrongly dated.
Because they mention in suttas as the river is active. Maybe that makes the start of Buddhism even earlier.

From Wikipedia again

According to the [Mahabharata], the Sarasvati dried up to a desert.

End of story later Hindu text but still beautiful and we learn something here and there.

So point look in the 3 Vedas that Buddha constantly mentioned to understand who Buddha talked to . Not later works.

:pray:t4::pray:t4::pray:t4:

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Thank you this is nice finding , I have no doubt on Buddha’s teachings they are very original. It was just it of curiosity I was thinking how come he didn’t find suffering in his learnings though, sequence of historical events is questionable and this looks good for now :pray::pray::pray:

I was same place as you. I searched. We help each other. Seems we both like to search these thing.

Hey keep on study. It’s to know the truth of history.

About the date when Buddha started preaching I think its wrongly dated with Mahavira just because there some suttas where he refer to but sometimes I think this a ancient Sage. Then stories kept being added and let look as if it’s something closer. While it older than we think. Like Hindu epics things get added. Buddhism is the same. It’s complicated. But for sure the 3 Vedas Buddha Learned something from it. It’s something not much accepted, or better said talked about. But it’s reality. But don’t go in nonsense. :joy: old believes. But there is some nice teaching here and there. Nice mantras. Etc nice to check it out. It might not be exactly what Buddha learned. But it’s close

Ven. Analayo has some interesting thoughts regarding this here:

You know what is interesting also? In the Vedas. Death is seen as the teacher. And see what Buddha said. This is another of my study notes.

About Yama/Death/Deathless

“Then King Yama says: ‘Good man, did it never occur to you — an intelligent and mature man — “I too am subject to death, I am not exempt from death: surely I had better do good by body, speech, and mind”?”-Buddha

“Let us with offerings honour Yama’s deathless birth.”-Veda

“The Daughter of the Sun hath spread our glory among the Gods, imperishable, deathless.”-Veda

“Reverence be to Yama, reverence to death”-Veda

“Death is the teacher”-Veda

“This is identity as far as identity extends. This is the Deathless, namely, the liberation of the mind through not clinging.”-Buddha

““There is the case where a certain excellent thoroughbred person hears, ‘In that town or village over there a man or woman is in pain or has died.’ He is stirred & agitated by that. Stirred, he becomes appropriately resolute. Resolute, he both realizes with his body the highest truth and, having penetrated it with discernment, sees. This type of excellent thoroughbred person, I tell you, is like the excellent thoroughbred horse who, on seeing the shadow of the goad-stick, is stirred & agitated. Some excellent thoroughbred people are like this. And this is the first type of excellent thoroughbred person to be found existing in the world.” -Buddha

And what connection do you now see that he saying that he has found the deathless. His two main disciples also is to have been looking for deathless. Sāriputta hearing Buddha teaching immediately understood a little and said to monk that told him Buddha’s teaching, that if has found just that little, you have found the deathless.

Why do you think monks lived in cemetery to see death. Because it’s the teacher? And letting death let you realize the impermanence of life. You also reach to the same deathless birth that Yama had? It’s not a path to unity with Yama. But they still in that knew in that time that Death is the teacher.

Take another brahmin who says: ‘All sensual pleasures are impermanent, suffering, and perishable.’ Saying this, a brahmin speaks the truth, not lies. But they don’t think of themselves as an ‘ascetic’ or ‘brahmin’ because of that. Nor do they think ‘I’m better’ or ‘I’m equal’ or ‘I’m worse’. Rather, they simply practice for disillusionment, dispassion, and cessation regarding sensual pleasures, having had insight into the truth of that.

Wandering ascetics, these four are the truths of Brahmins by me realized and declared. What four?

Truth of Brahmins