|You are here >> Home >> Revision Home Page >> Buddhism >> The Life of the Buddha|
Going It Alone
The Buddha's ascetic companions abandoned him; or rather he let them abandon him. He didn't run after them and say, "Please come back". For a time he could go along the same path as others, but he would not be blindly swept on. When he realised it was wrong, he tried to communicate that understanding to them, but they wouldn't listen. He stayed true to his beliefs and heart, he didn't say "oh all right then", and go back on his conviction. He stayed true to himself. When you know something to be wrong, or meaningless, or pointless, then you stand your ground. He was not a "yes" person! He had doubts about his path, he needed to retrace his steps, stop a little and regroup and think. He needed to change direction. His followers saw this as a cop out, and left him. So he had to go it alone. Often in life we have to go it alone, even be unpopular. He took a stand. He took responsibility and was prepared to go it alone.
He also took help and time to heal, and got his strength back.
One day, soon after, he remembered a time when he was a child, it was a hot day, during a festival, and he sat under a tree while watching his father perform a ploughing ceremony. He suddenly experienced a great sense of peace and tranquility. In Buddhism this state of mind is called a Dhyana, it is a state that can be brought about by meditation. He decided that he would spend his time meditating. He found a peaceful spot by a river under a banyan tree near a town later called Bodhgaya. He made a pillow out of grass and settled down to meditate and resolved not to move, but to keep on meditating until he had found the answer to his questions on the reason why there is suffering in the world.
Beneath a Banyan Tree - by the River Neranjara
To test yourself on this section