408 The Beginning of Buddhism

“The Beginning of Buddhism”

Siddhartha Gautama, a prince of the Shakya clan,
Lived a life free of inconvenience.
Despite having a son, Rahula, with his wife, Ashodara,
Siddhartha was ordained.

Siddhartha’s suffering was that deep.
He recognized the suffering of life: birth, aging, sickness, and death.
He then devoted himself to meditation under two masters,
But he was unable to attain enlightenment.

After that, he fasted and engaged in other forms of physical penance,
But his body and mind continued to weaken, and he gained nothing.
While the weakened Siddhartha was purifying himself in a river,
A girl named Sujata gave him rice pudding and saved his life.

At that time, he listened to Sujata play music.
“The strings of the zither, if tightened too tightly, will break,
If the strings are too loose, the sound will be bad. 
It is best to tighten the strings of the zither moderately.”
He realized that his practice was wrong.

He then sat under a linden tree to deepen his meditation.
It was a reflective meditation to cleanse his mind of impurities.
Without being deceived by the temptations and threats of Mara, the devil,
Finally the Buddha, who would attain great enlightenment, was born.

His enlightenment was a mystical enlightenment beyond words.
At first, the Buddha was hesitant to preach his teachings,
But then Brahma appeared and begged the Buddha,
“Please preach your teachings for the sake of sentient beings.”
Later, the Buddha began to preach the teaching of the Four Noble Truths,
And the Eightfold Path, and the Middle Way,
These teachings can put anyone on the path to enlightenment.

That is the beginning of Buddhism.

「初転法輪」

シャカ族の王子ゴータマ・シッダールタは
何ひとつ不自由のない生活を送っていた
妻のアショーダラとラーフラという息子もいた
それでもシッダールタは出家をしたのだ

それほどシッダールタの苦悩は深かった
生老病死という人生の苦しみを知ったのだ
その後二人の師のもとで瞑想修行に励んだが
何一つ悟ることはできなかった

その後は断食などの肉体苦行に取り組むが
心身は衰えるばかりでここでも何一つ得られなかった
衰弱しきったシッダールタが川で身を清めていた時
スジャータという娘に粥を与えられ命を救われる

その時スジャータの歌を耳にする
「琴の弦はきつく締めると切れてしまうが
緩く締めると音が悪い 
琴の弦は適度に締めるのが良い」
彼は自分の修行が間違っていたことを悟る

そして菩提樹の下で座禅し瞑想を深める
それは心の穢れを落とす反省的瞑想だった
マーラー(悪魔)の誘惑や脅しに惑われることなく
ついに大悟に至る仏陀が誕生したのだ

その悟りは言語を絶する神秘な悟りだった
仏陀は当初その教えを説くことをためらった
しかし梵天が現れて仏陀に懇請した(梵天勧請)
どうか衆生のために教えを説いてくださいと
その後仏陀は四諦八正道と中道という
誰でも悟りの道に入れる教えを説き始めた

それが初転法輪 仏教の始まりだ