Rahula – Son and Disciple of Lord Buddha
Rahula was the son and one of the ten Great Disciples of Lord Buddha. Rahula was also called "Rahula The Lucky".
Rahula was the only biological son of Siddhartha Gautama and Queen Yasodhara . According to Buddhist tradition, Rahula was very young when Prince Siddhartha decided to live a life of an ascetic and tried to find the true meaning of life and the cycle of Samsara. Later Rahula became Buddhist monk and attained Enlightenment. According to legend, Rahula was called “ Rahula The Lucky ” by his friends since he was the son of Lord Buddha and attained Enlightenment. Rahula was considered as one of the ten Great Disciples of Lord Buddha. Rahula died young before the departure of Lord Buddha.
Before leaving the life of royalty to find the Enlightenment, Prince Siddhartha called Rahula "fetter" since Rahula could tie Prince to Yasodhara and could halt his quest to find the truth being the Wheel of Life. Some people from modern times accused Lord Buddha to be a “deadbeat dad” since he left Rahula when he was very young.
The birth of Rahula was believed to be the key factor that fueled Prince Siddhartha’s decision to leave the palace as well as royalty life and to find the meaning of life, death, pain, old age and live a life of ascetic. Rahula was the son of Prince Siddhartha and Yasodhara and grandson of King Suddhodhana, Shakyan king of Kapilvastu, Lumbini. On the particular evening of Prince Siddhartha to choose ascetic life, Prince peeked at the royal bedchamber to look at his wife and son for the last time butRahula face was concealed by Yasodhara’s arm.
After 9 years, Lord Buddha returned to his birthplace, Kapilvastu . When he arrived at the kingdom,Yasodhara took Rahula to Lord Buddha and informed Rahula that he was the son of Lord Buddha .Yasodhara instructed Rahula to ask his father the inheritance so that he could become the king after the death of his grandfather, King Suddhodhana. Later Rahula followed Lord Buddha asking him the inheritance. But Lord Buddha decided that Rahula will inherit his Enlightenment and knowledge of life and the Dharma. He asked Venerable Sariputra to join Rahula in the order of Sangha. He choseSariputra to be Rahula’s instructor and Moggallana as his teacher.
Rahula as Buddhist Monk
AfterÂ RahulaÂ joined theÂ Order, he was given and shown no favoritism byÂ Lord BuddhaÂ and was ordered to follow the same rule as other monks.Â Lord BuddhaÂ sometimes taughtÂ RahulaÂ by himself.Â RahulaÂ was very attentive student and was always eager to hear the words ofÂ knowledgeÂ from his teacher. Thus,Â Lord BuddhaÂ said to all of his disciples thatÂ RahulaÂ was theÂ most anxious for training. WhenÂ King SuddhodhanaÂ heard that his grandson has become theÂ disciple of Lord BuddhaÂ , accusedÂ Lord BuddhaÂ thatÂ RahulaÂ was taken away without their permission. That was whenÂ Lord BuddhaÂ made a rule that parental consent was necessary before someone could be ordained in theÂ Order of Sangha.
One day,Â RahulaÂ misdirected a person who seeks theÂ Buddha. WhenÂ BuddhaÂ heard ofÂ RahulaâsÂ such behavior,Â BuddhaÂ thought that he should teachÂ RahulaÂ as his father and teacher. The conversation ofÂ Lord BuddhaÂ andÂ RahulaÂ was recorded in the text ofÂ Ambalatthika-rahulovada Sutta in the Pali Tripitaka.
BuddhaÂ calledÂ RahulaÂ so that he could discuss theÂ dharmaÂ in such a way thatÂ RahulaÂ could understand and remember. PleasedÂ RahulaÂ washedÂ BuddhaâsÂ feet with the water in a basin.
"Rahula, do you see this little bit of leftover water?"
"That's how little of a monk there is in one who feels no shame at telling a lie."
When the leftover water was tossed away, the Buddha said, "Rahula, do you see how this little bit of water is tossed away?"
"Rahula, whatever there is of a monk in anyone who feels no shame at telling a lie is tossed away just like that."
The Budha turned the water dipper upside down and said to Rahula, "Do you see how this water dipper is turned upside down?"
"Rahula, whatever there is of a monk in anyone who feels no shame at telling a lie is turned upside down just like that."
Then the Buddha turned the water dipper right side up. "Rahula, do you see how empty and hollow this water dipper is?"
"Rahula, whatever there is of a monk in anyone who feels no shame at telling a deliberate lie is empty and hollow just like that."
After hearing such knowledge fromÂ Lord Buddha,Â RahulaÂ learned how to purify his actions and tried consider the consequences of his action. LaterÂ BuddhaÂ taughtÂ RahulaÂ about the way of meditation. At the age of 18,Â RahulaÂ attainedÂ Enlightenment. According toÂ Buddhist tradition,Â RahulaÂ died at the young age, after attainingÂ EnlightenmentÂ . The Great Mauryan Emperor and Buddha follower,Â Ashoka the GreatÂ constructed a stupa in Rahulaâs honor.
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