Queen Maya died seven days after her son was born. Seers at the court predicted that Siddhartha would become either a great ruler or a Buddha (“awakened one”). The great seer, Asita,  prophesied that the baby prince would become a great sage. Alarmed by what this news implied for his kingdom’s future, the king determined to turn Siddhartha away from the spiritual path.

–1,001 pearls of Buddhist wisdom