In the area on the present border of India and Nepal, there was a small kingdom in the 6th century before the Common Era. When the prince was born, fortune-tellers forecast that he would be either a great king or a great saint. The king took every care to keep him in a life of pleasure so he would become king, not saint. The prince grew to be a strong, handsome youth. Yet he was kind, he saved a bird struck by his cousin’s arrow and so claimed the bird as his. One day, on a ride outside the palace through the city, he saw a sick, an old and a dead man. Their sight opened his eyes to the suffering in the world and set him thinking. One night, he left his wife, newborn son and the palace and went in search of knowledge to end suffering in the world. He traveled far and wide and went through many austerities but realized that, sorrow can be ended, not by starving the body but by freeing oneself from desire. He set out teaching this. People called him Buddha (‘the Enlightened’). He started preaching against animal sacrifice as the means to satisfy desires. Soon commoners and kings alike started listening to him. There were detractors too but he came out unharmed through all their evil designs. Back to his town during his travels, he finally won over his own family to his teachings.
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In the area on the present border of India and Nepal, there was a small kingdom in the 6th century before the Common Era. When the prince was born, fortune-tellers
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