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Some people think that the Buddha’s life as a rich prince was more important for his enlightenment, than his life as a poor man. When the Buddha was born a fortune teller paid a visit to the palace informing the king that his son, Siddhartha Gotama, will grow up to be either a holy man or a king.His father wanted Siddhartha to become a king, so he locked him the palace and didn’t allow him to go outside so he would never be able to become a holy man. Siddhartha had everything he wanted, but he still was not happy. His life as a rich prince was important because he understood that having everything you want does not bring happiness, and made him curious as to why he was still unhappy, which allowed him to start his mission in finding out the route to happiness.Siddhartha told his chariot driver to take him outside secretly. Siddhartha went outside four times, and saw four things. On the first three trips, he saw sickness, old age and death, which his chariot driver told him no one can escape from. This was important, because it shows that even though Siddhartha was rich, he still can’t escape suffering. On his fourth trip, he saw a wandering monk who had given up everything he owned to seek an end to suffering, and decide to be like him.The Buddha was restless because he wanted to find out the answer to the three questions: Why is there sickness, age and death? Why does everyone have to suffer from it? Is there a way to end this suffering? The Buddha knew that to find the answer to these questions he would have to leave the palace.So he left in the night, leaving his wife and children. Doing this action meant that he will value his time and do everything to find out his answer, because he left what is precious to him. Siddhartha left secretly with his chariot rider, and travelled to the forest. When he reached the river between the forest and his father’s kingdom, he took of his jewellery and ornaments; cut of his hair and replaced his fine clothes with rags. This is an important act because he knew that he would have to give up his luxuries to find his answer.On the other hand, some people think that the Buddha’s life as a poor man was more important than his life as rich prince. Siddhartha spent 7 years in the forest learning from teachers, however he still never found is answer. He then went in to living an ascetic life, where he had nothing but a grain of rice a day. He grew so thin that he could feel his spine through his stomach. He was on the merge of dying, when he realised that it was not the answer to happiness, but only made him suffer. People believe that this was an important part of the Buddha’s life because he experienced how the hungry of the world suffered. This allowed him to think deeper into how to prevent the suffering, because he understood more about what makes a hungry person unhappy.In my opinion, both his experiences were important and for his Enlightenment. The Buddha then meditated under the Boddhi tree until he reached Enlightenment. This meant he found out the truth about how things are – his questions were answered. He taught people to follow the four noble truths and they will find happiness. They are:1. Annica – belief that nothing is impermanence.2. Anatta – belief that is there is no God, therefore nothing can be called a soul – it is called a ‘life force’3. Dukka – belief that everyone will suffer4. Follow the eight fold pathThese are rules to follow to reach happiness for both the rich and the poor. The Buddha through his experiences of living in poverty and luxury understood that if you how these rules are what will bring happiness. Also, he taught people to follow live in the middle way – not too poor and not rich. This is why it was important that he led both lives, because he learnt that neither of the lifestyles brings happiness. His rich life was important because it made him realise that wealth and luxury does not bring happiness, and his mission started. His life as a poor man was important because it made him experience the suffering for himself, and made him realise that by giving up everything you have, does not bring happiness. Thus, I think both of his lifestyles, rich and poor were important for becoming enlightened.

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