Sunday, October 12, 2008

Life of Buddha: Devadatta

The next lesson after this is the ceremony Segaki, and it seemed to me Devadatta makes a good example of a Hungry Ghost. While I would have liked to teach the Buddha's life in a chronological order, I liked the idea of relating his life to our ceremonies more, so the story of his birth comes much later in the year when we celebrate Wesak.

Image found here
I shared the story of Siddhartha, the young Buddh-to-be, with Devadatta and the Swan from the picture book Buddha by Demi.

While Siddhartha's father protected him from seeing old age, sickness, and death, he still got into things with his cousin Devadatta, as boys do.  In this story, Devadatta shot down a swan, and Siddhartha caught it to nurse back to health.

Each boy considered the swan to be his, so they took the disagreement to the court, where it was decided Siddhartha could keep the swan, as life is sacred.

While I told the story, I had the girls color a picture of the swan story from Story of the Buddha: A Coloring Book found at buddhanet.  (There is also a text book that includes the images and more text.)

Once done, we moved on to creating a swan origami. To accommodate the younger ages, I sought simple swan origami instructions. The kids had a choice, to keep the origami separate, or to paste it to their picture.