On Francesca’s Judgment of The Buddha
Francesca, a couple of points really.
The truth is, _this_ guy (“That guy”), the rich prince, was “Siddhartha Gautama”, not the Buddha. This point is not pedantic. The Buddha in general refers to not one individual, rather The Buddha is personification of the timeless wisdom. Which is why in Buddhist scriptures, they talk about Pratyek Buddha and the countless Buddhas from ageless time. The Buddha you refer to is “Gautama Buddha”; Truth be told, Gautama Buddha actually went back to Yashodhara (the wife of Prince Siddhartha who attained “The Buddha”hood if you will), and subsequently Yashodhara and Rahula — the wife and son followed him into the Sangha. So, you see, The Buddha really did not abandon anyone, nor did The Buddha waver from his responsibilities as a human.
Besides, the meditation we often talk about now as fad was not actually the way it was with Buddhism. In reality, as we know the early history of Buddhism, The Buddha never taught meditation. There was no scope of secular meditation in the mind of The Buddha or his disciples. That meditation is enmeshed somewhere in the larger principles of the seventh and the eighth precepts of the eightfold path (Samma Sati and Samma Samadhi, the right reflection and right concentration).