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Most Buddhists across the world are familiar with the myth of the miraculous birth of the Buddha: He is said to be the only son of Queen Maya and King Suddodhana of Kapilavatthu. Many modern Buddhists do not believe the myths surrounding the birth, while some fundamentalists take the story literally.

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Then this miracle occurred: The baby strolled seven steps on the ground and, at each step, a lotus flower bloomed up to receive his feet. Finally, on the seventh lotus (in some versions), the baby was seen as a youth and said: “I am the best in the world. This will be my last birth.”

The miraculous birth of the Buddha has puzzled Buddhists for many hundreds of years. While some Buddhists are content to believe the myth and have no desire to look for a further interpretation, others feel that the account needs further interpretation.

 

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