The Buddha goes to teach his relatives in Kapilavatthu; the senior relatives do not pay obeisance

For more than six years, from the time the Bodhisatta had gone forth, been enlightened and begun to spread the teaching in Magadha until he had many disciples and followers, the Buddha had not gone back to visit Kapilavatthu, the town of his birth, even once. This picture depicts the Buddha's first return to Kapilavatthu in order to teach his relatives, in response to a request from King Suddhodana, his father.

When King Suddhodana found out that the Buddha was staying and teaching in Magadha, he wished to see him, and sent a party of emissaries to invite him to Kapilavatthu.

Each of the parties of emissaries sent by King Suddhodana to invite the Buddha consisted of a leader and followers to the number of 1,000, according to the Pathamasambodhi. There were altogether 10 of these parties. The first to the ninth of them, on paying respects to the Buddha, sat and listened to a teaching, as a result of which they all attained Arahatship and so did not report back to King Suddhodana. Then the king sent a tenth party consisting of court ministers. Of this tenth group Kaludayi was the leader. He was a friend of the Buddha and one of the sahajata, born on the same day as the Buddha. Before setting out on his journey to formally invite the Buddha to Kapilavatthu, Kaludayi took leave of the King to go forth as a monk, promising to invite the Buddha back to Kapilavatthu after receiving acceptance as a monk. The King gave his consent.

Later, when Kaludayi reached the Buddha's monastery, he listened to a teaching from the Buddha, became an Arahat and asked for acceptance as a monk, together with all his retinue. Then he formally invited the Buddha to journey to Kapilavatthu. At that time it was the dry season, approaching the rainy season.

The Buddha, accepting the invitation, set off on his journey with a company of monks which, according to the Pathamasambodhi, numbered 20,000, and in two months reached Kapilavatthu. Arriving there, he stayed at the park of a Sakyan by the name of Nigrodha, a place that the Sakyan rulers had offered to the Buddha for his stay. This park (arama) was not a monastery, but a park, a pleasure garden situated outside of the town. The royal relatives, including King Suddhodana himself, were there to receive the Buddha.

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