A residence of Buddha when he was still a prince is a royal palace called “Kapila”. Currently, the palace where the royal palace is said to have been located is the subject of ongoing political controversy between India and Nepal; India insists on the place called Piprahwa and Nepal insists on the place called Tilaurakot. I uphold Tilaurakot’s theory, however, it is my intuition and it is unfounded. The World Buddhist Association has not also made a final conclusion by academic proof.

     Prince Siddhartha escaped from the royal palace and went to the Southeast side, went through a country called Malla; he crossed the Ganges and it seems that he entered a city called Rajagriha, the capital of Magadha, which was the largest country in India at that time. This place looking down from Grdhrakuta is now covered with mango groves, but in those days, a lively city sight might have been spreading from centered around the royal palace to the foot of a mountain. Wandering through the alleys of the city, he seems to have looked for his master who might be able to solve his problems.

     At that time, there were two practices as monks practice to attain enlightenment. One is the “practice of meditative concentration” and the other is “asceticism”. First, he became a disciple of a hermit who taught the practice of meditative concentration. At first, Siddhartha visited a hermit called Alara Kalama, who had been teaching a state called “Musho usho*1” and the next he visited the other hermit called Uddaka Ramaputta, who had been teaching a state called “Hiso hihisosho*2”. It is not sure who these two hermits were, but these two states were not the things that Siddhartha was able to attain enlightenment that he sought for. Shortly, he left these two hermits.

     Soon, he entered the place called “ascetic forest” which was spread out next to the Nairanjana. This place called Uruela was flooded during the rainy season due to a flood. At that time, he moved to the nearby Dungeshwari Cave Temples (mountain). I have ascended this mountain and a stone chamber of the hillside that practitioners of austerities dug was muggy like a sauna catching the sunset. The ascetic forest was comparatively plains, but there were many people who died at the end of severe practices and skeletons of Brahmin practitioners were scattered in the woods. His mother-in-law, Mahaprajapati was very sad.

*1 Musho usho: A state of samadhi where nothing exists. A state of emptiness.

*2 Hiso hihisosho: The state in which only extremely vague thoughts exist beyond the state in which one thinks that nothing exists.

-To be Continued-