What Name Did the Buddha Give His Son?

Clark Strand

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This morning I quizzed my eight-year-old daughter on her knowledge of Buddhism. This isn’t catechism class, just question and answer. I’m curious about how much she knows. We don’t belong as a family to any formal Buddhist organization, but since birth she has seen various bhikkhus, rinpoches, and Zen masters pass through our house—friends from my monk days or because of my writing. She asks lots of questions and remembers the answers she gets.

This morning it’s my turn. The questions are historical and not esoteric at all.

“What name did the Buddha give his son?” It sounds like a game show question, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she answered, “What is Rahula, or 'Hindrance.’” But she doesn’t.

“Wasn’t it 'Get-in-the-Way’?” she ventures. Which the judges deem a correct answer, since it tells it as it is.

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