sprung from his mother’s side

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a painting along the wall at Waujeongsa

Of all the stories about the Buddha’s life, there’s one I haven’t been able to make much sense of… that he sprung from his mother’s side.

Maybe it sounds too much like the other end of an immaculate conception to me, or something like that.

I wonder if what actually happened was that a c-section was required. I have no idea about the medical technologies at the time, but it could also very well explain her death just a few days later. Or having a baby spring from your side could explain it just as well!

the pool where the queen bathed after giving birth.

4 responses »

  1. As I remember, this story dates from much later than other parts of the Pali Canon, and it seems to me that the Brahmans had a thing about the vagina and vaginal blood being considered inherently impure. So a pure being wouldn’t be born through such a channel. Hence the birth out his mother’s side.

  2. I’m also interested in the part where he immediately took some steps (shown in the photo at the top), pointed to the sky and earth and proclaimed himself “holy.” Uh, huh.

    As Un Mun said: “If I had been there at that time, I would have killed him with my Zen stick and fed his corpse to a hungry dog. That would have saved the world a lot of trouble.”

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