Paragraph 1. A wonderful thing took place at a ploughing festival in his childhood. It was an early spiritual experience which, later in his search for truth, served as a key to his Enlightenment.
Once on a spring ploughing ceremony, the king took the prince to the field and placed him under the shade of a rose apple tree where he was watched by his nurses. Because the king himself took part in the ploughing, the prince looked at his father driving a golden plough together with other nobles. But he also saw the oxen dragging their heavy yokes and many farmers sweating at their work. While the nurses ran away to join the crowd, he was left alone in the quiet. Though he was young in years, he was old in wisdom. He thought so deeply over the sight that he forgot everything around and developed a state of meditation to the great surprise of the nurses and his father.
P 2. The king felt great pride in his son, but all the time he recalled the hermit's prophecy. Then he surrounded him with all pleasures and amusements and young playmates, carefully keeping away from him all knowledge of pain, sadness and death.
P 3. When the prince was sixteen years old, the king arranged for his son's marriage. According to their custom, a prince who desired to get married had to prove his strength and courage. Then the king invited other princes and nobles to meet his son in many contests and Prince Siddhattha won victory in all of them. Among the beautiful ladies who attended the ceremony, he finally chose the fairest one (the country's beauty), his beautiful cousin, as his bride. She was Princess Yasodharaø, daughter of King Suppabuddha, a brother of the late Queen Maøyaø of the Kolyas.
P 4. The king was pleased to see that if his son had home ties, such as a wife and children, he would not leave them and then he would become a great king. The royal couple led a happy life in three palaces built for them: one for the hot season, one for the cold season and one for the rainy season. Around the palaces were parks of flowers, groves with fountains and especially lotus-ponds. For nearly thirteen years, they spent their prime of youth in these palaces, enjoying all worldly pleasures among skillful musicians, attractive dancing girls and a variety of delicious food. But the prince was never allowed to go out to see the world outside; the poor, the sick and the aged were kept away from his sight and no one was allowed to talk anything sad before him.
P 5. As time passed, however, the prince's thoughts returned to the problem of suffering: he had no sorrow of his own, but he felt pity for mankind and he tried to understand the true meaning of human life.
Especially (adv) = above all, in particular: Nhaát laø, ñaëc bieät laø.
We are interested in learning the Triple Canon (the Three Baskets), especially the Basket of Discourses (Sutta Pitaka): Ta quan taâm ñeán vieäc hoïc Tam Taïng Thaùnh ñieån, ñaëc bieät laø Kinh Taïng.
Return to the problem of suffering: Trôû veà vôùi vaán ñeà khoå ñau.
P.4 Get married / be married: Keát hoân.
marriage (n), married life: Hoân nhaân, cuoäc soáng gia ñình.
The royal couple led a happy married life. = They enjoyed a happy marriage: Ñoâi vôï choàng vöông giaû höôûng cuoäc soáng gia ñình haïnh phuùc.
Marry s.o = take s.o as a wife / husband: Cöôùi ai (laøm vôï /choàng).
Spend one's prime of youth: Soáng thôøi hoa nieân.
Surround s.o/ s.t with s.t: Vaây quanh ai / c.g. vôùi c.g.
They surround their house with a fence/bamboo trees: Hoï vaây quanh nhaø baèng haøng raøo/ buïi tre.
The king surrounded the prince with worldly pleasures: Vua cha vaây quanh Thaùi töû vôùi nhöõng duïc laïc theá gian.
A variety of s.t = Different kinds / Various kinds of s.t (books, flowers): Nhieàu loaïi khaùc nhau. (saùch, hoa).
We enjoy reading a variety of books on the Buddha's Great Compassion: Chuùng ta thích ñoïc nhieàu loaïi saùch veà loøng Ñaïi Bi cuûa ñöùc Phaät.
P.5 Feel pity for s.o / s.t. = feel sorrow for s.o's suffering= have / take pity on s.o: Thaáy thöông xoùt veà noãi khoå cuûa ai.
They feel pity for the sick: Hoï thaáy thöông xoùt nhöõng ngöôøi beänh.
The true meaning of human life: YÙ nghóa thaät cuûa ñôøi ngöôøi.