Continued from here.
At the moment of the Buddha's birth, throughout the land, there was peace and happiness. People stopped fighting with their neighbors and suddenly felt great love for the very person at whom they had been shouting the day before. Some saw rainbows and other unusual and beautiful events. Wise men assured each other that something fortunate had happened. The signs made it clear.
It was the full moon day of the fourth month.
Queen Maya, who herself was filled with joy at the birth of her child, took the baby and returned to the king's palace.
With great rejoicing, King Shuddhodana greeted Queen Maya and their new son. Festivals were held, and the kingdom was decorated. It was a time of happiness and peace. Because of the good feelings, his parents named the Prince "Siddhartha" ~ the one who brought all good.
The wise men made predictions. They told the king thay his son would grow up to be even geater than the king himself. This pleased the king greatly. He was sure that one day Prince Siddhartha would be ruler not only of the king's small kingdom, but of the world.
Many visitors came to see the child. One was an old man named Asita, a hermit who lived in the distant forest and was known to be a holy person. The king and queen were honored by his visit and asked the purpose of his journey.
Asita told them that he had traveled there because of the signs that he had seen. The signs told Asita that the new prince would have great spiritual knowledge that would benefit everyone. Asita, who had spent his entire life searching for such wisdom, wanted to see the child himself.
But when the king brought the prince to Asita, Asita began to cry. The king and queen were frightened. What did this mean? Was there something wrong with their child?
The king fell to his knees and begged Asita to tell him what he saw in the infant's face.
Was the prince to die soon?
Asita calmed the parents. He told them he was not crying because of anything bad. He was crying for himself.
"You see," he told the king and queen, "I have spent my entire life seeking the truth and searching for a way to end all suffering." When he saw the child, he knew that some day this child would teach everything Asita wanted to learn, but by then, Asita would be dead, and would never be able to learn from him.
He told the king and queen that their son would grow up to be a great man. If he stayed with the king, the prince would become the greatest king of all time, and would rule over a vast realm, bringing peace and happiness.
But if the prince chose not to become a king, his future would be even greater, for then he would become a great teacher and show people how to live with peace and love in their hearts. He would leave the palace behind and discover a way to end the world's suffering, and this, he would teach to all who would listen.
With that, Asita turned and slowly left the palace.
The king was greatly relieved. Even more so, he was thrilled, for he was now sure that, one day, his son would be ruler of the world. He could always become a holy man when he was quite old, the kimg reasoned. And so he stood happily, his son in his arms, awaiting the future.
To be continued...
But the necklace with the story is here.