THE LIFE OF SAKYAMUNI BUDDHA
4. The Prince’s Education
On the seventh day after his birth, Prince Siddhartha’s mother died. The king had another queen, who was called Prajapati Gotami. She was the younger sister of Queen Maha Maya, and she had given birth to a son on the same day that Queen Maha Maya died. Prajapati Gotami gave her own son to a nurse and brought up Prince Siddhartha, whom she loved very much, as her own son. Prince Siddhartha could not remember his own mother.
When Prince Siddhartha was only a few years old, King Suddhodana sent him to school. There were many children in his class, all of them from noble families. His teacher was called Sarva Mitra.
He studied languages, reading, writing, mathematics, history, geography, science, and games like boxing, archery, wrestling and many others. He learnt all these subjects faster than any other pupil in his class. He was the cleverest in the class and the best at games. He gained distinction in every subject and became cleverer than his teachers. He was the wisest and the only one who asked many questions from his teachers and elders. He was the strongest, the tallest and the most handsome boy in the class. He was never lazy, he never misbehaved and was never disobedient to the teachers. He loved everybody and everybody loved him. He was a friend to all.
EXERCISE 4. The Prince’s Education
1. Who was Prajapati?
2. How was she related to Maha Maya?
3. Who was the teacher of Siddhartha?
4. Was the prince a clever boy?
5. What did he study?
6. Did his friends like him? Why?
7. Why did the teacher love him?