Buddhists around the world will be celebrating the birth of Buddha either this month or in May. The traditional date this important event is celebrated on is April the 8th
, although the precise date may vary according to region (April 8 or May 8 in Japan; second Sunday in May in Taiwan; 8th day of the 4th lunar on the East Asian mainland, and the official date set for this year is the16th of May).
While most people are aware of how Prince Siddhartha Gautama became the ‘holy man’ he is today known and revered as, few (especially non-Buddhists) are aware of the fact that his life’s path was accurately predicted by astrology shortly after his birth in 563 BC.
According to legend, an astrologer by the name of Asita visited King ?uddhodana, Prince Siddhartha Gautama’s father, and predicted that the young prince would either turn out to be a great king or, if allowed to see what life outside palace walls was really like, renounce wealth and the material world in general and become a holy man.
The Fulfilment of the Prediction
Determined that his son would one day be king, ?uddhodana subsequently prevented the prince from venturing out of palace grounds. In spite of his father’s efforts, Gautama managed to leave the palace several times at the age of 29.