Alara and Uddaka (Part One)

Life of the Buddha

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( Part One) 13. The Buddha’s First Teachers At this time in India there were numerous religious teachers. One of the best and most well known was Alara Kalama. Ascetic Gotama went to study under him. He stayed and was taught lots of things, consisting of meditation. He worked hard and ultimately equalled his instructor in learning. Finally Alara Kalama could not teach Gotama anymore and he said, “You are the very same as I am now. There is no difference between us. Stay here and take my place and teach my students with me.”

But Gotama was not interested in staying. In spite of what he had discovered he might see that he was still subject to old age, illness, and death and that his quest was not over.

Therefore, Gotama left Alara Kalama and went in search of a new teacher. At last he found another great teacher, Uddaka, who was popular for his cleverness. Again, Gotama learnt extremely rapidly and soon knew as much as his teacher. He discovered that Uddaka might not teach him how to stop suffering, old age and death either, and he had never ever become aware of anyone who might solve these problems. As soon as once again the Ascetic Gotama was disappointed and left Uddaka, comprising his mind to struggle by himself up until he found the cause of all the suffering of life.


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