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  • When a young prince was born, a wise man foretold that the prince would either grow to become a successful king or a wise man. The king wanted his son to be a good ruler not a wise man so he kept him in the palace surrounded by riches. He grew up and got married, but still something in his life was missing.
  • One day he decided to leave the safety and comfort of the palace and go into the nearest town. That day his life would change for ever. That day he would discover old age, illness and death. 
  • First he saw an old woman then a sick man and then a funeral procession. This taught him about death. He was horrified at the reality of life.
  • In the alleyway he found a peaceful holy man. How could a man be so at peace when there is so much suffering in the world. The prince decided to find out the meaning of life by giving up his life of luxury and going for the opposite, A simple and humble life. He left his family and went to live with aesthetics.
  • He then went to live his simple life with the aesthetics who tried to find the answers to life by starving themselves. After years of doing this he still was no closer to finding the truth about life. A life of luxury could not find him answers and a simple life of an aesthetic couldn't either. What could? 
  • After meditating under a Bodhi tree for seven days he found out what the meaning of life was. He realised the path to awakening is the 'middle way' between his extremes of self denial and a self-indulgent life. When he discovered this he became enlightened and broke out of samsara (the cycle of rebirth). After this he went on to teach others about his discoveries for years. He was known and still known as the 'enlightened one'.
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