I am going to split this off from another thread, because an important topic ...

Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly
I guess the Buddha's story would be a problem if we knew for sure it was factual. Even if it was an accurate story then he did leave before he experienced the path, and so in real terms was a hungry person looking for answers, perhaps therefore making questionable decisions. Another way of looking at it is to read Nhat Hahn's reworking of the tale whereby the Buddha leaves everything for the sake of everyone including his son- the bigger picture. Hahn wrote it in a very human (although simplistic) way but it works.
its all story though much like our own lives........
Is it time to sit again?
Well, we all make questionable choices in our youth ... although they do eventually get us right where we are now.

And the Buddha certainly performed a service for the greater good of all sentient beings ... even at sacrifice of his own family.

It was the culture of the time for religious seekers to cut themselves off from ties to family and social duties ... and the Buddha was a man of his times, doing much as was done by other Indians on the spiritual path.

As was said, the Buddha before his enlightenment was certainly not quite the same fellow as before ... nor yet "the Buddha". Still, the Buddha continued to emphasize literal "home leaving" even after his insights under the Bodhi Tree ... a practice that continued for thousands of years to this day.

While the Buddha's child was certainly not left to neglect ... that cannot be said of all the wives and children left alone as the Buddha encouraged thousands of men to leave their families behind and join his flock after the Buddha's enlightenment.

Perhaps the Buddha was enlightened on some key aspects of Truth ... but that does not mean he was enlightened on all aspects of Truth.

The Buddha's teaching at that time emphasized cutting our ties as the way to cut attachments, leaving emotional relationships fully as the way to quell desires ... all very different from flavors of Buddhism emphasizing 'non-attachment amid and expressing life's connections and relations', seeing through excess desires even while holding lightly healthy and balanced desires. This is a positive development in Buddhism.

So, one need not agree with every choice and idea professed by the old boy to still find treasure in this Practice. There were other likely "clunkers" too (so much superstition and nonsense in parts of the old teachings). So long as the Buddha was 90% right, and right on all the central points ... it is fine if he made some needless and ill informed calls on the rest.

Just because the guy was "Buddha" and "enlightened" does not mean one need agree with all his so called "enlightened choices".

Gassho, J