top of page

Prince Siddharta and the Quest for Enlightenment

Prince Siddhartha & the Quest for Enlightenment

Once upon a time there was a prince named Siddhartha. He was so beloved by his parents that he grew up surrounded by wealth and shielded from all forms of life that might cause pain or discomfort. He was given everything a young prince could desire, never knowing the stress of illness, old age, or death.  

One day an old woman made it through the doors of the palace courtyard, and when Siddhartha saw her advanced age, and the pain she suffered in her weakened, swollen limbs, he felt powerless to help her. He was so deeply moved by her strength in old age that he vowed to find an end to all forms of suffering. (In other words, he had a mid life crisis). Renouncing the wealthy, indolent life in which he had been raised, Siddharta began his epic journey, the journey of the historical Buddha, to seek and find the meaning of life, and put an end to suffering. He soon came to understand that everyone went through the phases of birth, age, illness, and death, and that this cycle of suffering was inescapable as long as people were in human form.

Siddharta, in his travels, mastered several metaphysical gifts as he developed his internal and external understanding of the laws of life. He inadvertently created new religions and offshoots of buddhism through his inspiring exploits,  and eventually realized that the healthy desire for life, for love, and connection were just as inescapable as death.

He saw that as long as we were alive, we would be a part of the wheel of cause and effect created by our desires, and that because of this, desire could be a source of great suffering. What if, instead of renouncing all desire, we learned to walk a middle path somewhere between desire and detachment?

What if we realized that our desires revealed our inner natures?

What if we used these revelations of self-knowledge to master the suffering caused within our own minds, thus allowing us to experience the life and death, cause and effect, with peace, and joy? Siddhartha preached these, and many other insights throughout his life, eventually developing such a life force of compassion and all-seeing wisdom that he went into a state of paranirvana, where he became everything and nothing at once. (Think: Yoda in Star Wars)

Before he did so, he reminded his sangha--his community in faith-- that all things perish, and that even angels and gods of the other realms were caught in the same karmic cycles of desire, cause, and effect. He enjoined his followers to follow no-one, and instead to master their own minds of suffering through personal understanding and empowerment.  Having walked many different paths and learned many different systems of belief himself, Siddharta reminded his fellows to see enlightenment in all beings, and not to judge or slander others for the paths they might choose to take. Reliquaries and monuments were made in his honor, and within 600 years of his death, many of the verbal spiritual traditions he had stimulated were codified by written word.

Would he have approved of these written texts, this man who loved to sit in circles beneath trees and share in heart to heart dialogue?

We do not know, but Siddhartha himself says he is always here, waiting to reveal the law to anyone who will listen, for his is the spirit of the Buddha, a human spiritual quality of inquiry and curiosity about the nature of life that we all carry within. Stories about his many lives were told as Jatakas across Southeast Asia, and continue to unfold in living form as modern day avatars, mystics, and seekers journey out on their own path of life discovery.

Perhaps Siddhartha is even alive in top 40s pop artists like Daft Punk, whose lyrics in "Get Lucky" begin quite philosophically: "Like the legend of the phoenix, All ends with beginnings, What keeps the planet spinning, The force of love beginning." We must all age, experience challenges, and die, but in our wisdom heart of love, we can renounce suffering and replace it with true happiness. The End! (Or is it? haha) Blessings, Dailey

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page