Rahula was the son of Siddhattha Gotama and Yasodhara. Siddhattha Gotama left him at the day he was born to attain enlightenment. Buddha gave the Dhamma to Rahula who was asking for his inheritance. Venerable Sariputta ordained him. Thus Rahula became the first samanera and a role model for all samaneras through his obedience and humility.
He was so called “Rahula”, as his father murmured: “Rahulajato Bandhanam jatam” on hearing his birth. It means, “An obstacle to his renunciation had arisen”. Nevertheless, his presence prompted Siddhattha Gotama to renounce the world immediately and made himself become Buddha, the Noble One.
King Suddhodana felt sad when his sons Siddhattha and Nanda renounced the world. Again, he was very unhappy to hear the ordination of his grandson, Rahula. He requested the Buddha, not to ordain sons without permission of their parents or guardians. The Buddha agreed to do so. He made it a discipline of the Noble Order.
Rahula was brought up by his mother and his grandfather. He only met his father when he was seven. He said, “Lord, even your shadow is pleasing to me”. These words showed his deep love to his father.
Teachers of Rahula were Venerable Sariputta and Moggallana. Venerable Sariputta taught him knowledge of the Dhamma while Venerable Moggallana instructed on his behaviour.
Everymorning, Rahula took a handful of sand and threw it up in the air, wishing: “May I get advice and instruction as these grains of sand from my teachers”. This action expressed how much he was eager to learn.
Buddha never failed to teach him too. Several suttas were preached by him to his son, Rahula. After listening to the Cula Rahulovada Sutta, Rahula became an arahat.
His friends called him “Rahulabhadda”, meaning “the lucky one”. He said that he was worthy of this name, for he was being the Buddha's son and an arahat as well.
Rahula deceased before the Buddha and his two teachers.
Records showed that King Asoka built a thupa (monument of relics enshrined) in honour of Rahula, particularly for the samaneras to worship.
Precisely, samaneras should worship Rahula Thera as a role model for his obedience and truthfulness.
Posted by Aye Sat