Brief notes on Buddhist thought and practice
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Three Beautiful Palaces

Because King Shuddhodana was worried about Prince Siddhartha becoming a monk, he came up with a plan: He would surround the prince with luxury.

He built three palaces for the prince's pleasure and comfort. One was built of sweet-smelling cedar. This was a place for the prince to live in during the winter months. A second one was made from marble. This kept the prince cool during the summer. The third was made of bricks. It had a strong blue tile roof. This kept the prince dry during the rainy season.

But the palaces were only the beginning. Each palace had beautiful gardens, with trees and flowers, lotus ponds and flowing streams. The prince enjoyed riding his horse Kanthaka around the gardens.

But even with all this beauty, and the horse that he loved so much, the prince continued to think about the suffering of the world. The king knew that something more must be done.


  1. The "Three Palaces" reflect the three seasons of the Indian subcontinent. They also remind me of "The Three Little Pigs." Comments?
  2. Much is made of Siddhartha's relationship with Kanthaka. What modern parallels could you draw?
  3. Do you think the king is "on the right track"? Is there any chance that this kind of luxury could work?

Next time: Choosing a Bride

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