Author Topic: The 7 Steps of A Child Buddha  (Read 16839 times)

KhedrubGyatso

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The 7 Steps of A Child Buddha
« on: January 14, 2012, 12:16:37 PM »
There are many different accounts of the ' miracle' birth of Gautama Buddha.One popular version described that right after birth , the holy child stood on his feet, surveyed the four corners of the earth , took seven steps and declared that under heaven and on earth,' i am the supreme one  and  this is my last rebirth.'
Apparently there is a connection between the 7 steps he took and his declaration.
Any one can share?

negra orquida

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Re: The 7 Steps of A Child Buddha
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2012, 03:59:15 PM »
Hmm did some googling and so far only found this:

"The baby Buddha’s seven steps evoke seven directions – north, south, east, west, up, down, and here"

Wonder what is the link between this and the proclamation??

Positive Change

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Re: The 7 Steps of A Child Buddha
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2012, 06:55:57 PM »
There are many different accounts of the ' miracle' birth of Gautama Buddha.One popular version described that right after birth , the holy child stood on his feet, surveyed the four corners of the earth , took seven steps and declared that under heaven and on earth,' i am the supreme one  and  this is my last rebirth.'
Apparently there is a connection between the 7 steps he took and his declaration.
Any one can share?

This is actually a mixture of facts. It is not only the account of Gautama Buddha's miracle birth but what he also proclaimed of of Maitreya Buddha. Both Gautama Buddha and Maitreya Buddha took and will take 7 steps respectively. The declaration "I am the supreme one and this is my last rebirth" will be said by Maitreya:


Maitreya

1. Translation by Edward Conze, in his Buddhist Scriptures (Penguin Books, 1959), pp. 238-42.

"Sariputra, the great general of the doctrine, most wise and resplendent, from compassion for the world asked the Lord: 'Some time ago you have spoken to us of the future Buddha, who will lead the world at a future period, and who will bear the name of Maitreya. I would now wish to hear more about his powers and miraculous gifts. Tell me, 0 best of men, about them !'

The Lord replied: 'At that time, the ocean 'will lose much of its water, and there will be much less of it than now. In consequence a world-ruler will have no difficulties in passing across it. India, this island of Jambu, will be quite flat everywhere, it will measure ten thousand leagues, and all men will have the privilege of living on it. It will have innumerable inhabitants, who will commit no crimes or evil deeds, but will take pleasure in doing good. The soil will then be free from thorns, even, and covered with a fresh green growth of grass; when one jumps on it, it gives way, and becomes soft like the leaves of the cotton tree. It has a delicious scent, and tasty rice grows on it, without any work. Rich silken, and other, fabrics of various colours shoot forth from the trees. The trees will bear leaves, flowers, and fruits simultaneously; they are as high as the voice can reach and they last for eight myriads of years. Human beings are then without any blemishes, moral offences are unknown among them, and they are full of zest and joy. Their bodies are very large and their skin has a fine hue. Their strength is quite extraordinary. Three kinds of illness only are known-people must relieve their bowels, they must eat, they must get old. Only when five hundred years old do the women marry.

'The city of Ketumati will at that time be the capital. In it will reside the world-ruler, Shankha by name, who will rule over the earth up to the confines of the ocean; and he will make the Dharma prevail. He will be a great hero, raised to his station by the force of hundreds of meritorious deeds. His spiritual adviser will be a Brahmin, Subrahinana by name, a very learned man, well versed in the four Vedas, and steeped in all the lore of the Brahamins. And that Brahman will have a wife, called Brahmavati, beautiful, attractive, handsome, and renowned.

'Maitreya, the best of men, will then leave the Tushita heavens, and go for his last rebirth into the womb of that woman. For ten whole months she will carry about his radiant body. Then she will go to a grove full of beautiful flowers, and there, neither seated nor lying down, but standing up, holding on to the branch of a tree, she will give birth to Maitreya. He, supreme among men, will emerge from her right side, as the sun shines forth when it has prevailed over a bank of clouds. No more polluted by the impurities of the womb than a lotus by drops of water, he will fill this entire Triple world with his splendour. As soon as he is born he will walk seven steps forward, and where he puts down his feet a jewel or a lotus will spring up. He will raise his eyes to the ten directions, and ill speak these words: "This is my last birth. There will be no rebirth after this one. Never will I come back here, but, all pure, I shall win Nirvana!"

'And when his father sees that his son has the thirty-two marks of a superman, and considers their implications in the light of the holy mantras, he will be filled with joy, for he will know that, as the mantras show, two ways are open to his son: he will either be a universal monarch, or a supreme Buddha. But as Maitreya grows up, the Dharma will increasingly take possession of him, and he will reflect that all that lives is bound to suffer. He will have a heavenly voice which reaches far; his skin will have a golden hue, a great splendour will radiate from his body, his chest will be broad, his limbs well developed, and his eyes will be like lotus petals. His body is eighty cubits high, and twenty cubits broad. He will have a retinue of 84,000 persons, whom he will instruct in the mantras. With this retinue he Will one day go forth into the homeless life. A Dragon tree will then be the tree under which he will win enlightenment; its branches rise up to fifty leagues, and its foliage spreads far and wide over six Kos. Underneath it Maitreya, the best of men, will attain enlightenment- there can be no doubt on that. And he will win his enlightenment the very same day that he has gone forth into the homeless life.

'And then, a supreme sage, he will with a perfect voice preach the true Dharma, which is auspicious and removes all ill, i.e. the fact of ill, the origination of ill, the transcending of ill, and the holy eightfold path which brings security and leads to Nirvana. He will explain the four Truths, because he has seen that generation, in faith, ready for them, and those who have listened to his Dharma will thereupon make progress in the religion. They will be assembled in a park full of beautiful flowers, and his assembly will extend over a hundred leagues. Under Maitreya's guidance, hundreds of thousands of living beings shall enter upon a religious life.

'And thereupon Maitreya, the compassionate teacher, surveys those who have gathered around him, and speaks to them as follows: "Shakyamuni has seen all of you, he, the best of sages, the saviour, the world's true protector, the repository of the true Dharma. It was he who has set you on the path to deliverance, but before you could finally win it you have had to wait for my teaching. It is because you have worshipped Shakyamuni with parasols, banners, flags, perfumes, garlands, and unguents that you have arrived here to hear my teaching. It is because you have offered to the shrines of Shakyamuni unguents of sandalwood, or powdered saffron, that you have -arrived here to hear my teaching. It is because you have always gone for refuge to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Samgha, that you have arrived here to hear my teaching. It is because, in Shakyamuni's dispensation, you have undertaken to observe the moral precepts, and have actually done so, that you have arrived here to hear my teaching. It is because you have given gifts to the monks-robes, drink, food, and many kinds of medicines-that you have arrived here to hear my teaching. It is because you have always observed the sabbath days that you have arrived here to hear my teaching.". . .

'For 60,000 years Maitreya, the best of men, will preach the true Dharma, which is compassionate towards all living beings. And when he has disciplined in his true Dharma hundreds and hundreds of millions of living beings, then that leader will at last enter Nirvana. And after the great sage has entered Nirvana, his true Dharma still endures for another ten thousand years.

'Raise therefore your thoughts in faith to Shakyamuni, the Conqueror! For then you shall see Maitreya, the perfect Buddha, the best of men! Whose soul could be so dark that it would not be lit up with a serene faith when he hears these wonderful things, so potent of future good! Those therefore who long for spiritual greatness, let then, show respect to the true Dharma, let them be mindful of the religion of the Buddhas!'

KhedrubGyatso

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Re: The 7 Steps of A Child Buddha
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2012, 09:38:31 AM »
I think there is a clue to the 7 steps when Buddha declared, this is his last rebirth , meaning he had conquered samsara. He had overcome all sufferings.

In samsara we experience 7 types of suffering:

1. birth
2. old age
3. illness
4. death
5. encountering things we dislike
6. having to part with things we like
7. unable to fulfill one's wishes

Every victorious step he took a lotus bloomed in celebration of his purified mind uncontaminated by delusions.
I think this explanation is more credible than the 7 steps representing directions as it is more commonplace to read about the 10 directions.

vajraD

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Re: The 7 Steps of A Child Buddha
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2012, 05:38:20 PM »
Agreed with KhedrubGyatso re the 7steps. 

Thank you to for the story. Do you know where  could get a book with good storyline and also sketched picture about the baby Buddha. Wanted to get it for some display. There is a lot of great stories out there about the enlighten ones but not able to gather the info as there so many version. Yes they can menifest as many but which is mor accurate... anyone know where i can gather great pictures and information on Buddha, Chenrezig, Tara and etc?

Big Uncle

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Re: The 7 Steps of A Child Buddha
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2012, 11:22:04 AM »
Hmm did some googling and so far only found this:

"The baby Buddha’s seven steps evoke seven directions – north, south, east, west, up, down, and here"

Wonder what is the link between this and the proclamation??

I think KhedrubGyatso's answer is the closest. As for the directions, traditional Buddhist scholars usually talk about the ten directions - which is all that you have said including up, down, north, east, west, south, north east, north west, south east and south west. It is said that there are Buddhas on worlds in all these directions. However, this explanation does apply to the seven steps. 

Q

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Re: The 7 Steps of A Child Buddha
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2012, 06:48:02 PM »
The Seven steps that Buddha represents how Buddha would transcend the six realms of suffering (Samsara) and take the extra step into enlightenment. It is also a reminder to all of us on the aim and purpose for us to be born in this life which is to achieve enlightenment and be free of samsara.

I think the seven steps are as following:

1) East
2) West
3) North
4) South
5) Up
6) Down
7) Here

buddhalovely

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Re: The 7 Steps of A Child Buddha
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2012, 02:09:55 PM »
Then the Queen and her son were showered with perfumed blossoms, and two streams of sparkling water poured from the sky to bathe them. And the infant stood, and took seven steps, and proclaimed “I alone am the World-Honored One!”

Then Queen Maya and her son returned to Kapilavatthu. The Queen died seven days later, and the infant prince was nursed and raised by the Queen’s sister Pajapati, also married to King Suddhodana.

WisdomBeing

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Re: The 7 Steps of A Child Buddha
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2012, 05:16:01 PM »
I'm curious... was Siddharta actually enlightened already and manifested as a human or did he really gain enlightenment in that lifetime? I ask because when he was born, he had the marks of the Buddha already. Did that mean that he was a Buddha already? In which case, he was already enlightened. I read that Lama Tsongkhapa was the same. He was an incarnation of Buddhas so was he already enlightened?
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

sonamdhargey

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Re: The 7 Steps of A Child Buddha
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2012, 08:42:01 AM »
I'm curious... was Siddharta actually enlightened already and manifested as a human or did he really gain enlightenment in that lifetime? I ask because when he was born, he had the marks of the Buddha already. Did that mean that he was a Buddha already? In which case, he was already enlightened. I read that Lama Tsongkhapa was the same. He was an incarnation of Buddhas so was he already enlightened?

I want to add to the above: Since Siddharta is already Buddha, why he is born? I thought Buddha cannot take rebirth? Lama Tshongkhapa is an incarnation or a manifestation of Buddha? Manifestation and incarnation is different. Please share and correct me if I'm wrong.

bambi

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Re: The 7 Steps of A Child Buddha
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2012, 09:19:12 AM »
Indeed an interesting question. I went thru a few websites and found these.

According to the legends about this birth, the baby began to walk seven steps forward and at each step a lotus flower appeared on the ground. Then, at the seventh stride, he stopped and with a noble voice shouted:

"I am chief of the world,
Eldest am I in the world,
Foremost am I in the world.
This is the last birth.
There is now no more coming to be."

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhism/lifebuddha/2lbud.htm

and this one

THE SEVENTH STEP
The seventh step that the baby Buddha is said to have taken right after birth symbolizes the goal or aim of one’s being born into this life, the goal that signifies nirvana outside of the six realms or samsara.

Hence, the meaning of the seventh step is to get out of the six realms, the repetition or
rebirth of life cycles of suffering.

http://www.usp.ac.jp/english/pdf/report008.pdf

RedLantern

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Re: The 7 Steps of A Child Buddha
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2012, 10:35:52 AM »

There are many accounts of the 'miracle' birth of the Buddha.Buddha walked seven steps in each of the four directions.Taking those steps,Buddha uttered four profound statements.The tranlations of these four statements is wonderful in the Tibetan language.As the Buddha took his first steps to the eastern direction,he said.'from here I arrive to attain nirvana,enlightenment.The word for east in Tibetan also means 'to arrive',Stepping to the south,the Buddha said,'I will be in harmony with worldly understanding' As he moved to the west ,the direction of the setting sun,he said,'This is my final birth' And with seven steps to the north,Buddha said,I have purified all my deeds in samsara.worldly existence!
Naturally,a child born in the ordinary way would never be able to walk and speak with such eloquence and dignity.

Vajraprotector

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Re: The 7 Steps of A Child Buddha
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2012, 01:58:51 AM »
I have read before that it signifies the Seven Factors of Enlightenment (Pali: satta bojjhanga), which are:
1. Mindfulness (sati) - to remember the Dhamma
2. Investigation (dhamma vicaya) of the Dhamma
3. Energy (viriya)
4. Joy or rapture (p?ti)
5. Relaxation or tranquility (passaddhi) of both body and mind
6.Concentration (sam?dhi) a calm, one-pointed state of concentration of mind
7. Equanimity (upekkha), to be able to face life in all its vicissitudes with calm of mind and tranquility, without disturbance, with dispassion and detachment.

Some sources said that the Buddha stood firmly on the ground and then took seven strides to the north, surrounded by gods and men. Anyone found better sources or explanations?

Positive Change

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Re: The 7 Steps of A Child Buddha
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2012, 03:35:31 PM »
The actual phrase I believe was thus:

"At birth Buddha took seven steps in EACH of the four directions (East, South, West and North)"


And the meaning of this is said to be this:

In each direction lotuses sprang, symbolizing the Four Immeasurables: love, compassion, joy and equanimity.

Perhaps it was not seven actual steps per se but seven steps in EACH of the four directions, making it 28 steps???

The Prayer of the Four Immeasurables

May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes,
May all sentient beings be free of suffering and its causes,
May all sentient beings never be separated from bliss without suffering,
May all sentient beings be in equanimity, free of bias, attachment and anger.


Long Version of the Four Immeasurables

How wonderful it would be if all sentient beings were to abide in equanimity,
Free of hatred and attachment!
May they abide in equanimity!
I myself will cause them to abide in equanimity!
Please, guru-Buddha, grant me blessings to be able to do this.

How wonderful it would be if all sentient beings had happiness and the cause of happiness!
May they have happiness and its cause!
I shall cause them to have these!
Please, guru-Buddha, grant me blessings to be able to do this.

How wonderful it would be if all sentient beings were free of suffering and its cause!
May they be free of suffering and its cause!
I myself will free them from suffering and its cause!
Please, guru-Buddha, grant me blessings to be able to do this.

How wonderful it would be if all sentient beings were never separated from the happiness of higher rebirth and liberation!
May they never separated from the happiness of higher rebirth and liberation!
I myself will cause them never to be separated from these!
Please, guru-Buddha, grant me blessings to be able to do this.

dsiluvu

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Re: The 7 Steps of A Child Buddha
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2012, 07:33:18 PM »
I'm curious... was Siddharta actually enlightened already and manifested as a human or did he really gain enlightenment in that lifetime? I ask because when he was born, he had the marks of the Buddha already. Did that mean that he was a Buddha already? In which case, he was already enlightened. I read that Lama Tsongkhapa was the same. He was an incarnation of Buddhas so was he already enlightened?

I want to add to the above: Since Siddharta is already Buddha, why he is born? I thought Buddha cannot take rebirth? Lama Tshongkhapa is an incarnation or a manifestation of Buddha? Manifestation and incarnation is different. Please share and correct me if I'm wrong.

To answer your question on was Siddharta actually enlightened already and manifested as a human or did he really gain enlightenment in that lifetime? I ask because when he was born, he had the marks of the Buddha already. Did that mean that he was a Buddha already?

Moved by compassion to take birth among man
Before the Buddha was born into this world, he was a bodhisattva in the heavens -  a being destined by his karma for full Enlightenment. From here he witnessed the dark ages engulfing the human realm, leading to its spiritual poverty. Moved by compassion, he vowed to take birth in the world and relieve mankind from their sufferings.

I believe that Siddharta was at the last stage where in this final rebirth, He will be fully Enlightened. Hence he was of the highest stage of a Boddhisattva.

The Marks on Siddharta was the 32 Marks of the Great Man: A pan-Asiatic belief in physical marks that signify a person's spiritual destiny.

Same would go with Lama Tsongkhapa. Or perhaps someone could take a look