Ven.RAHULA


Rahula: Master of Practise



Rahula (Sk. & Pl.) was the only son of the Buddha (when he was still Prince Siddartha) and his wife Princess Yasodhara. Prince Siddhartha was preparing himself to leave the palace. One account claims that when he received the news of his son's birth he replied Rahu jato bandhanam jatam — "A rahu is " born, a fetter has arisen ." He was a scrupulous, strict and shrewd person.

Rahul was raised by his mother and grandfather, King Suddhodana. When he was seven years old, the Buddha returned to his home city of Kapilavatthu at the request of his father who missed him dearly. On the seventh day of his return, Yasodhara took Rahula to see his father, the Buddha. She told Rahula that since his father had renounced the palace life and as he was the next royal prince in line, he should ask his father for his inheritance of crown and treasure for his future sake when his grandfather would no longer rule the kingdom.

After the meal, Rahul followed the Buddha, saying "Give me my inheritance." Nobody tried to stop him, nor did the Buddha prevent him from following him. He then looked at his father and said,"Lord, even your shadow is pleasing to me."

Reaching the Park of Nigrodha, where the Buddha was staying, the Buddha thought to himself. "He desires his fathers inhentance, but it is wrought with troubles. I shall give him the benefit of my spiritual Enlightenment and make him an owner of a transcendental inheritance."

The Buddha called Venerable Sariputta and asked him to ordain little Rahula who became the first Samanera (novice monk).

The King, discovering that now his grandson and a number of young men in the royal family had requested ordination, asked the Buddha only to ordain a minor with the consent of his parents or guardian. The Buddha assented. Thw rule was expanded to include the spouses of those intending to join the Order of monks and nuns.

Shortly after Rahul's, ordination the Buddha taught him the importance of telling the ruth. This discourse is known as the Rahulovada Sutta. The Buddha placed truth as the highest of all virtues. The seekers of Truth, (those who have as their goal Nibbana) should not break the precept of Truth.

Sariputta and Moggallana were little Rahula's teachers. While SaHputta taught Rahula knowledge of the Dhamma, Moggallana concentrated on his conduct. Even though Rahula was only seven when he became a novice monk, he was very eager to accept instruction and was exceptionally cultured and obedient.

Later, the Buddha, knowing that Rahula's mind was ripe for final attainment, went with him alone to Andhavana, and preached to him the Cula Rahulovada Sutta. At the end of the discourse, Rahula became an arahant, together with one hundred thousand crores of listening devas.

SaHputta and Moggallana were little Rahula, teachers. While SaHputta taught Rahula knowledge of the Mamma, Moggallana concentrated on h. conduct. Even though Rahula was only seven when he became a novXe monk, he was very eager to accept instruction and was exceptionally cultured and obedient.

Later, the Buddha, knowing that Irthula, mind was ripe for final attainment, went voth him alone to Andhavana, and preached to him the rtila Irthulovgda Sutta. At the end of the discourse, Irthula became an arahant, together voth one hundred thousand wren of Wtening devas.

The Buddha declared Rahula foremost among those of his disciples who were anxious for training (sikkhakamanam) and for his high standard of discipline and obedience.

According to the Digha and Samyutta Commentanes (DA.ii.549; SA.iii.172), Rahula predeceased the Buddha, Sariputta and Moggallana, and the place of his death is given as Tavatimsa. For twelve years he never lay on a bed. Asoka built a thdpa in honour of Rahula, to be specially worshipped by novices.



Websites:

1. Rāhula – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
2. Relatives and Disciples of the Buddha – 01
3. Ambalatthika-rahulovada Sutta: Instructions to Rahula at Mango Stone
4. Ráhula