The Ploughing Ceremony

As a child, Prince Siddhartha was kind, compassionate and thoughtful. One day, at the age of seven, the prince followed his father to witness the annual ploughing ceremony at the beginning of the sowing season. While the king was busily engaged in the ceremony, the prince was left in the care of his maids under a shady rose-apple ( jambu) tree. He was left alone when his maids wandered off to watch the ceremony.

The prince, not particularly attracted by the events, noticed a bird swooping to the ground and carrying off a small worm which had been dug up from the earth by the farmer’s plough. The prince was greatly disturbed by what he had seen.“Alas! Do all living creatures kill each other?” he thought to himself. He realised that killing is suffering. Sitting alone under the big tree, he began to ponder in sorrow, over what he had seen. As he concentrated his mind, he began to experience the joy of meditation.

When his father and maids noticed that he was not among the crowd who were watching the ploughing ceremony, they went to look for him. Under the tree, the king found his seven-year old child in meditation. The king was deeply moved at the sight.

Title: Buddhism for Beginners
By: Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery
Chapter 3 | Page 16
ISBN 978-981-08-3641-2