#68. Śuddhodana

Cave No. 17

Identification: Schlingloff 2013. It is an episode from the life of the Buddha.

Māra, the king of the world of desires, spread the rumour that in his quest for enlightenment, the Buddha had succumbed to his severe lifestyle. However, well-wishers quickly dispelled the rumours and asserted that the prince was now an enlightened Buddha. On hearing this, along with the news that Buddha’s wife had given birth to a boy, King Śuddhodana, Buddha’s father, organised a great celebration at Kapilavastu. He had the city cleaned and decked up, and halls set up at the gates where one and all were showered with gifts, and beggars were served with food and drink.

Śuddhodana decided to invite the Buddha, now residing near Śrāvastī, to Kapilavastu. However, all the messengers ended up becoming monks at the behest of the Enlightened One, and stayed back at Śrāvastī. Finally, the king sent Udāyin, the son of the royal priest, with a promise of returning at any cost. Udāyin returned, but as a monk, with the message that the Buddha had accepted the king’s invitation.

—Source: Singh 2019, 31-33; Schlingloff 2013, I, 396

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