Buddhism Simplified
Brief notes on Buddhist thought and practice
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The Dancing Girls

After the baby's birth, Prince Siddhartha still wasn't ready to leave home. He needed one more little push.

Meanwhile, his father was still working hard to try to keep him happy. To this end, the very night Rahula was born, King Shuddhodana hired the most attractive women to sing beautiful songs and perform delightful dances.

Of course, it didn't work. As the prince tried to be a good son and watch the show his father had paid for, he became so bored he fell asleep. The girls noticed, and when they got tired of performing for a sleeping audience, they sat down to take a break until the prince awoke. Unfortunately, they fell asleep too.

While they lay in awkward positions, snoring, mouths open, saliva dribbling onto their exquisite clothes, the prince woke and saw these "beautiful" women. He was so disgusted that he slipped out of the room as quietly as possible.

He knew then and there that the beauty of the palace was only an appearance. Underneath its beauty all was unpleasant, all was suffering. It was time for him to leave.

  1. What is the value of entertainment? Is there any harm in forgetting our troubles for a while?
  2. What about beauty? Is it an illusion?
Next time: The Great Departure

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