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Rediscovering the BuddhaLegends of the Buddha and Their Interpretation$
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Hans H Penner

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195385823

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195385823.001.1

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Flight from the Palace

Flight from the Palace

(p.27) 4 Flight from the Palace
Rediscovering the Buddha

Hans H. Penner

Oxford University Press

This chapter details the departure of Gotama from the palace for a homeless life. Life in the palace became ugly and gloomy. One day an inhabitant of the heavens appeared before Gotama in the form of an ascetic. The recluse told him that his knowledge that life was nothing more than an endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth had led him to adopt the homeless life. Relatives and strangers had become the same for him; greed and hate had ceased to be. He told Gotama that wherever he found himself, at the root of a tree, a deserted sanctuary, a hill, or a wood, that became his home. He had no possessions, no expectations; intent on gaining freedom from rebirth, he accepted whatever was given to him. And then before Gotama's very eyes he flew off into the sky. Gotama now knew very clearly what had to be done, and he made plans to leave the palace for the homeless life.

Keywords:   Buddha, Gotama, homeless life, ascetic, freedom from rebirth

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