The Buddha, a lot of snails, and a spider
The story of Prins Siddhartha Gautama
When I was a small girl living in Holland, my Mother told me about world religions.
I found the story about Buddha very fascinating, and my child’s imagination would travel in time and to that faraway country where Buddha lived. He was born as a prince in a place called Lumbini, which is in India close to the border of Nepal. Siddhartha Gautama was born about 2,600 years ago.
It was predicted that Siddharta could become a great ruler but also left open the possibility for him to become a spiritual leader. His royal parents wanted their son to follow them and become a powerful king. That is the reason why they shielded him from the outside world.
It then happened Siddharta did go outside the palace walls and encountered the real world. This left him profoundly touched as he was confronted with an extremely sick person, the following day a very old man and then a dead person.
When venturing outside again on the next day he passed a man who was meditating. It seems their minds connected, and Siddharta realized that all he needed was within his own mind. He left his family and the royal palace behind him to be able to find his full enlightenment.
In the following 6 years, he visited many masters and teachers who showed him how to meditate. This did not satisfy him as he wanted to master his mind. That is why he decided to remain in meditation till finding enlightenment, a state he reached after 6 days and nights, just before his 35th birthday. He traveled on foot during the following 45 years, teaching people of all social levels and castes.
Source: The Story of Buddha
Worldwide one can see a growing interest in Buddhism, the Buddhist texts being translated into many languages. Up to 8% of the world population practice Buddhism. In China live approx 100 million Buddhists.
Real Buddhism is very tolerant of other religions and does not distinguish between Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist. To come to the point of understanding and accepting our differences. There have been no wars in the name of Buddhism. Is that true? Not really, as even in this religion they have committed violent acts, but perhaps to a lesser extent than in other religions. We are all humans and sadly it seems to be part of us.
To lead a moral life. To be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions. To develop wisdom and understanding. The sad thing is that not everybody is as tolerant. Remember the destruction of the colossal Buddha statues by the Taliban in March 2001?
These big Statues were carved in the side of a cliff at a high of 2,500 meters (8,200 ft) and at about 230 kilometers from Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. They were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Are you interested to know more about Buddhism?
This is not a hard book and is the best to introduce a beginner to the fundamentals of Tibetan Buddhism. The writer, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, explains in clear and accessible language with a tic of his familiar sense of humor how to develop our innermost awareness. To gain a proper understanding of the nature of reality and heartfelt compassion for all beings.
A visit to the museum
When I was about 7 years old, my parents took me to an exhibition of Buddha statues which impressed me. I noticed that some statues showed a Buddha with snails on its head. My Mother noticed that and then she told me this story.
Buddha used to meditate a lot and in doing so he would not be conscious of the time passing.
One day he had found a nice place under a tree. He was sitting in the shade. But as he meditated for many hours, he ended up sitting in the sun. He was not aware of the danger of suffering a sunstroke, but a snail passed by and recognizing him, did. The snail crept up and sat on top of his shaven head.
Soon more snails followed until Buddha’s head was completely covered. The snails getting the full sun, dried out but saved Buddha from getting a stroke. That is the reason you often see a Buddha statue with snails on its head.
Here is a nice website where the snails are being called martyrs.
Another website gives a lengthy explanation of Buddha’s Coiffure, really nice.
Buddha and the spider
My Mother also told me another Buddha story.
Some bandits tried to capture Buddha, and he was running for his life through the forest. Suddenly he saw a cave with a big spider web at the entrance. Buddha had no choice, so he ran straight through the web and hid in the back of the cave. The spider had recognized him and understood Buddha was in danger. In a jiffy, she repaired her broken web.
The bandits reached the cave, and one of them said that Buddha must have gone into the cave. The other bandit said that that was not possible as the spiderweb was intact, so they left.
The spider is a useful animal
This is one of the reasons one may not kill spiders. One can pick them up with a soft cloth and put them outside. They are useful animals as they catch annoying mosquitoes and the like. All animals have a place on our planet and are part of creation. We should respect that.
We all come from the same source and we all go back there after our life here on earth. We should come to realize that we are all equal with the same rights and obligations. Doing that living in peace would become much easier.
Here is a nice video you might like to see.
Before you leave, you might like to have a look at Recommendations. It is a special page I have made for you with. A collection of things I like and find useful. I hope you will find something of your interest.
Source: My Life
Photo Source: Pixabay
Do you love animals? Perhaps you like to read Cindy’s story. The end is sad, but she had a good life and was loved.
Er. Arbab Khan
The Buddha, a lot of snails and a spider. IS A NICE ARTICLE.
keep it up.
Thank you for visiting my website and reading the story about Buddha. I personally love these 2 stories. I wish we people would show more tolerance for other human beings independent of their beliefs or skin color.
This story of the snails assisting Buddha is quite extraordinary. Apparently, the snails knew that Buddha was deep in thought and it was important that he continue to meditate.
They also recognized that all species should attempt to live in harmony with another. There are many examples of animals helping people with very little plausible explanation. This post makes me think about my tolerance levels and what I need to improve in my own life.
Good Morning Ernest,
So nice, you have the same name as my Father. He died in 1986 so that is already a long time ago. Both my parents are not here anymore but they are ever so present in my memories.
Thank you for reading my post. You are right, animals are such a help. Already being in our lives has a therapeutic effect and is good for our health. I am happy that reading this story made you think, we humans are too brutal too often and it seems that destroying life is a great hobby. I personally hope the human race will advance to the point where we will respect all life on the planet.
I always love to learn about history and learn a lot about the Buddhists and their culture. This article was a good treat for me because it had everything to know about the Buddha and the spider. I like how they even have a museum. Thank you so much for sharing this article with us.
Good afternoon Sujandar,
Happy to hear you liked the information in my post. From the Buddhist religion, we can learn a lot. How to be more tolerant of other peoples beliefs.
Thank you for leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?
Buddhism is indeed a fascinating religion! It is also amazing to me that there are so many different sects of Buddhism that people practice around the world. I have had the great fortune to visit several predominantly Buddhist countries including Japan, Thailand, and Bali and it has been so cool to see the different cultures surrounding Buddhism in each country. There have been many differences as well as similarities.
I love learning about world religions! Thank you for this cool, enlightening 🙂 article!
Good afternoon Mariah,
Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?
When I was small my Mother told me about all the world religions. Now I am quite a bit older and have come to realize that all religions have the same basic idea. We should not condemn anybody for having a different religion from our own. There is place enough on the planet for us all to live in peace.
What an amazing article. I cant wait to show this to my wife as she is always talking about Buddha. I know she is going to love what she learns from this article.
She always talks about how Buddha is good luck. Well now for just a little while I will have something new to tell and show her.
Thank you for taking the time to put all this information out there for us.
Good afternoon Dale,
Thank you for leaving a comment on my website.
I hope your wife did like the article. Buddha’s teachings are actually the same as in other religions. One has to be tolerant of our differences and try to understand them. We all form part of creation and we all have the right to live here. We actually are one big family.
What an interesting article!
I love the piece about the snails on the Buddha’s head while he meditated being why we see that snails on the heads of Buddhas, its an extraordinary kind act to be served to such a peace and mindful Buddhist!
I never that 8% of the world’s populations were Buddhist. And the story about the Prins Siddharta Gautama was very interesting too!
Good afternoon Dianne,
Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?
Nice to hear you liked my post. I also think the life story of Prins Siddharta Gautama is quite amazing. His teachings were to become a world religion. Be tolerant and kind is one of them
Buddha has always interested me. Over the years I have been in many places where Buddhism is practiced, and I have to say that it leads to a much more peaceful society in these places than some other places where other religions are practiced.
I have not studied the life of Buddha much, so this article was eye-opening and a great read for me. The many snails on the head was a thing I had wondered about, now I know! The spider story was also a good one, and it kind of fits hand in hand with the philosophy of the religion…
It sounds like you too have a great interest in this man and the religion that grew up around him and is life. Most certainly there are many things we all can learn from him and put into practice in our daily lives. I am always seeking improvement, and wise ones like him can bring me new insights and hopefully make me a better person.
Thanks for sharing and have a great day! I enjoy your posts, by the way!
Good afternoon Dave,
Thank you for passing by and leaving a comment.
Lets face it, snails and also spiders have their place in creation. With spiders, I am always very nice and put them outside. Snails are a bit different. If there is a snail attack on the vegetable garden it is no fun anymore. Then there are 2 options. Or we make them drunk with beer, what a way to go. Otherwise, they are collected and present a feast to my happy chickens – the calcium is good for the eggshells.
Did you know that St Francis would sweep before he walked? He did not want to hurt small lives.
Being more tolerant would make this planet a better place, I hope that this realization will come one day.
That is nice of you to say you enjoy reading my posts, that is why I have a website and started writing. Having a website gives me the possibility to write about what interests and also worries me.
As a child you had a very inquisitive mind and a high imaginative spirit to go with it , I guess this has lead you to various spiritual depths. Buddhism seems to be the most peaceful religion in recent time, its tenets are of peace and humanity little wonder Buddhist nations have the least upheaval of any kind.
Good afternoon Zuchii,
Nice to see you again. Thank you for your kind comment on my website. The world can use more peace that is for sure. When humans realize we are all equal with the same rights and obligation then we can continue on our evolutionary path.
What a lovely article. I agree with the points you make about animals. I’m a vegan and do my very best not to have a negative impact on any animal. I have a slight phobia of spiders but my husband is good at rescuing them from our house! In recent years I have been learning more about Buddhism and I find it to be a very peaceful topic to learn about.
Good Morning Emma,
Thank you for your visit and for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.
My opinion is that the basis of each religion is the same. Be kind and respectful to each other. Sadly, history shows that humanity has a problem with this simple guideline. That is why we do not live in peace, be it on a personal level or nationwide. Life is a journey where we need to learn lessons as only as that we can advance. It is nice to hear you enjoyed reading my minor post.