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     GAUTAMA Buddha (563 B.C. – 483 B.C.) began life as a prince named Siddhartha Gautama, in northern India. At twelve, he was sent away for schooling in the Hindu sacred scriptures and four years later he returned home to marry a princess. They had a son and lived for ten years as befitted royalty. At about the age of twenty-five, the Prince, heretofore shielded from the sufferings of the world, while out hunting chanced upon a sick man, then an aged man, then a funeral procession, and finally a monk begging for alms. These sights so moved him that he at once went out into the world to seek enlightenment concerning the sorrows he had witnessed.
The lesson "Sermon at Benares" focuses on the early life of Gautama Buddha, his progress in gaining spiritual rank, and some of his teachings.
Gautama Buddha was a Prince by birth. The famous gardens of Lumbini, Northern India, where Gautama Buddha (563-583 B.C.) was born, remain a popular destination for pilgrims.

Historically, India had a system of "Vedic education." This system focused on achieving salvation and was taught in Gurukulas and Ashrams, and it focused more on moral purity, self-control, meditation, etc.

Siddhartha Gauthama was sent away for four years after age twelve to receive his education in the Hindu sacred scriptures.
He later wed a princess named Yasodhara after returning to his nation. The happy marriage of Prince Siddhartha and Princess Yasodhara resulted in the birth of a son. However, the aristocratic lifestyle lasted only a short time. Siddhartha Buddha's life experienced a complete transformation at the age of 25, perhaps after ten years of a happy marriage. One day when he went hunting, Siddhartha encountered the source of his life's transformation. Siddhartha lived a privileged existence for the entirety of his \(25\) years, and he was unaware of worldly afflictions like ageing, poverty, and death.

Siddhartha encountered a sick man, an older man, a funeral procession, and a monk who was appealing for alms on that day of hunting as he was travelling to the forest. Siddhartha was completely clueless about every scene he had passed while travelling. He was so moved by the scenes that he left his house right away to learn more about the misery he had witnessed.
Meaning of difficult words:
Sacred Related to religion or something of great respect
Prince Refers to the son of a king
Befit To be suitable for something or someone
Funeral A ceremony held after a person's death
Heretofore Until now
Alms Clothing, money or food given to poor people
Procession An organised body of people walking in a formal manner
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). The Sermon at Benares - Betty Renshaw (pp. 133-139). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.