11. The future Buddha made the great struggle and his body became emaciated
Having become a monk, the Future Buddha sought for teachers and found two renowned Brahmin teachers, Alara Kalarma and Uddaka Ramaputta. He acquired from them the method of meditation leading only to mundane superhuman power. But not satisfied with it, he ceased to practise it. And being desirous of attaining Enlightenment he continued his search and went to Uruvela grove. He entered Senani village and begged for his food from house to house and ate his meal. He thought to himself that having to go on a begging round for food in itself was a hindrance to his ascetic practices and began to practise the Great Struggle. The Great Struggle is an austere practice which is beyond human endurance of an average person. He tried various plans such as, abstaining from rice meal and living on fruits which dropped from trees, then on fruits which dropped from the tree under which he sat, then living on one fruit, one sesamum seed or one grain of rice a day. By this lack of nourishment his body was reduced to skin and bones and lost its golden colour and became dry and black.
THE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF BUDDHISM
by ASHIN JANAKA BHIVAMSA (Aggamahapandita)
Artist: U Ba Kyi | Link to this post