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XI:8 The paean of bliss uttered by the Buddha
Prince Siddhattha, the family of Gotama, son of King Suddhodana and Queen Maya of the kingdom of the Sakyans, renounced the world at the age of twenty-nine and became an ascetic in search of the Dhamma (Truth). For six years, he wandered about the valley of the Ganges, approaching famous religious teachers, studying their doctrines and methods. He lived austerely and submitted himself strictly to rigorous ascetic discipline; but he found that all these traditional practices do not lead to Truth. He was determined to find the Truth in his own way, and by avoiding the two extremes of excessive sensual indulgence and self-mortification, he found the Middle Path which would lead to Perfect Peace, Nibbana. This Middle Path (Majjhima Patipada) is the Noble Eight Fold Path,viz. Right Understanding, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.
Thus, one evening, seated under a Bo tree on the bank of the Neranjara River, Prince Siddhattha Gotama attained Supreme Enlightenment at the age of thirty-five. During the first watch of the night, the Prince attained the power of recollection of past existences and during the second watch he attained the power of divine sight. Then, during the third watch of the night he contemplated on the Doctrine of Dependent Origination. At the crack of dawn, Prince Siddhattha Gotama, by his own intellect and insight, fully and completely comprehended the Four Noble Truths*: The Noble Truth of Unsatisfactoriness, Dukkha (Dukkha Ariya Sacca); The Noble Truth of the Cause of Dukkha (Dukkha Samudaya Ariya Sacca); The Noble Truth of the Cessation of Dukkha (Dukkha Nirodha Ariya Sacca), and The Noble Truth of the Path Leading to the Cessation of Dukkha (Dukkha Nirodha Gamini Patipada Ariya Sacca). There also appeared in him, in all their purity, the clear knowledge of the absolute reality of each Noble Truth (Sacca nana), knowledge gained through the performance required for each Noble Truth (Kicca nana) and the knowledge of the completion of the performance required for each Noble Truth (Kata nana); and thus, he attained the Sabbannuta nana (also called Bodhi nana) of a Buddha. From that time, he was known as Gotama the Buddha.
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