Отрешение от мирской жизни
The renunciation of Prince Siddhartha was the boldest step that a man has ever taken.
It was night. Siddhartha could no longer find peace. He strode through the halls of the palace and finally went to the king. He bowed and said to him:
‘Father, grant the request I have to make. Permit me to leave the palace to follow the path to deliverance, for all earthly things are changing and of short duration. So we must part, father.’
‘Son, give up this idea. You are still too young for a religious calling. It is rather for me to embrace religion. The time has come for me to leave the palace. I abdicate, O my son!’
‘Promise me four things, O father, and I shall not leave your house and repair to the woods.’
‘What are they?’ asked the king.
‘Promise me that my life will not end in death, that sickness will not impair my health, that age will not follow my youth, that misfortune will not destroy my prosperity.’
‘I cannot promise them, son, for they are inevitable.’
‘Then do not hold me back. O father, my mind is fixed. All earthly things are transitory.’
Thus the prince resolved to accomplish the Great Renunciation that very night.
At the age of 29 years, Siddhartha was a full blooded, young man in the prime of life. As it was, the temptation not to abandon all He had known and loved was great. He knew the effort to seek the truth must have been formidable. During His final moments in the palace, He visited His bedroom and looked at His slumbering wife and their newborn child. The great impulse to remain and abandon His plan must have caused Him intense agony. Contrary to present day materialist values, in those days in India, it was considered a noble thing for a person to forsake home and loved ones to become an ascetic to lead a holy life. It was considered a sacrifice which was spiritually praiseworthy. All things considered, therefore, it would seem that Siddhartha was right in boldly and quickly carrying out His plan.
Two thousand five hundred years after His renunciation, some people criticise Him for His action. They say it was cruel for Him to run away from the palace without even telling His wife. They condemn Siddhartha for His manner of leaving home and Kingdom. Some describe it as a ‘callous abandonment of wife and family’. Yet what would have happened if He had not left so quietly and had approached His loved ones for a formal farewell? They would, of course, have implored Him to change His mind. The scene would have been hysterical, and quite possibly the little domain of His father Rajah Suddhodana would have been thrown into turmoil. His intention to seek the Truth would have had to be aborted by His father and wife who would have disagreed with His renunciation plans although He had discussed with His father and His wife about His intentions of renunciation. Because of His departure on that day, today, five hundred million human beings follow Him1. If He had stayed without ‘running away’ only His wife and son would have run after Him. His wife, however, did not accuse Him of desertion when she realised the purpose of His renunciation. Instead, she gave up her luxurious life to lead a simple life as a mark of respect. Earlier, when He discussed His renunciation with His wife she came to know that there was no way for her to stop His renunciation. She then requested Him to have a son before Him. That is why He decided to renounce the very day the son was born.
He renounced the world not for His own sake or convenience but for the sake of suffering humanity. To Him the whole of mankind is one family. The renunciation of Prince Siddhartha at that early age was the boldest step that a man could have ever taken.
Detachment is one of the most important factors for the attainment of Enlightenment. The attainment of Enlightenment is by way of non-attachment. Most of life’s troubles are caused by attachment. We get angry; we worry; we become greedy and complain bitterly. All these causes of unhappiness, tension, stubbornness and sadness are due to attachment. When we investigate any trouble or worry we have, the main cause is always attachment. Had Prince Siddhartha developed His attachment towards His wife, child, kingdom and worldly pleasures, He would never have been able to discover the remedy for suffering mankind. Therefore, He had to sacrifice everything including worldly pleasures in order to have a concentrated mind free from any distractions, in order to find the Truth that can cure humanity from suffering. Consider this, if the prince had not gone forth, humanity would today still be entrapped in fear, ignorance and misery, with no real understanding of the human condition.
In the eyes of this young Prince, the whole world was burning with lust, anger, greed and many other defilements which ignite the fire of our passions. He saw each and every living being in this world, including His wife and father, suffering from all sorts of physical and mental ailments. So determined was He to seek a solution for the eradication of suffering amongst suffering humanity, that He was prepared to sacrifice everything.
Here is how a poet saw the renunciation of the Buddha:
T’was not through hatred of children sweet,
T’was not through hatred of His lovely wife,
Thriller of hearts—not that He loved them less,
But Buddhahood more, that He renounced them all.’
Editor's note 01-02-1
Редакция перевода от 01.07.2015 19:31