news of what happened at the meeting of the
Sakya Sangh had travelled to the Raja's
palace long before the return of Siddhartha Gautama.
For on reaching home he found his parents weeping and plunged in great
grief. Suddhodana said: “We were talking
about the evils of war. But I never thought that you would go to such
lengths." Siddhartha replied, “I too did not think things would take
such a turn. I was hoping that I would be
able to win over the Sakyas to the cause
of peace by my argument. “Unfortunately, our military officers had so
worked up the feelings of the men that my argument failed to have any
effect on them.” But I hope you realise how I have saved the situation
from becoming worse. I have not given up the cause of truth and justice
and whatever the punishment for my standing for truth and justice, I
have succeeded in making its infliction personal to me."
Suddhodana was not satisfied with this. "You
have not considered what is to happen to us." “But that is the reason
why I undertook to become a Pariv-rajaka,"
replied Siddhartha. “Consider the consequences if the Sakyas had ordered
the confiscation of your lands". “But without
you what is the use of these lands to us? “cried Suddhodana. Why should
not the whole family leave the country of the Sakyas and go into exile
along with you? “Prajapati
Gautami, who was weeping, joined
Suddhodana in argument, saying; “I agree. How can you go alone leaving
us here like this? “Siddhartha said:
“Mother, have you not always claimed to be the mother of a Kshatriya? Is
that not so? You must then be brave. This grief is unbecoming of you.
What would you have done if I had gone to the battle-field and died?
Would you have grieved like this? “No,"
"That would have been befitting a
Kshatriya. But you are now going into the
jungle far away from people, living in the company of wild beasts. How
can we stay here in peace? I say you should take us along with you."
" How can I take you all with
me? Nanda is only a child.
Rahul my son is just born. Can you come
leaving them here? “He asked Gautami.
Gautami was not satisfied. She urged “It is possible for us all to leave
the country of the Sakyas and go to the
country of the Kosalas under the
protection of their king." “But mother!
What would the Sakyas say? “asked Siddhartha.” Would they not regard it
as treason? Besides, I pledged that I will do nothing either by word or
by deed to let the king of the Kosalas know the true cause of my
is true that I may have to live alone in the jungle. But which is
better? To live in the jungle or to be a party to the killing of the
"But why this impatience?" asked Suddhodana.
“The Sakyas Sangh has decided to postpone
the date of the hostilities for some time.” Perhaps the hostilities may
not be started at all. Why not postpone your Parivraja? May be, it would
be possible to obtain the permission of
the Sangh for you to stay among the Sakyas."
This idea was repellent to
Siddhartha. "It is because I promised to
take Parivraja that the Sangh decided to
postpone the commencement
of hostilities against the Koliyas. ”It is possible that after I take
Parivraja the Sangh may be persuaded to
withdraw their declaration of war. All this depends upon my first taking
Parivraja. “I have made a promise and I
must carry it out. The consequences of any breach of promise may be very
grave both to us and to the cause of peace. "Mother, do not now stand
in my way. Give me your permission and your blessings. What is happening
is for the best." Gautami and
Suddhodana kept silent. Then Siddhartha
went to the apartment of Yeshodhara.
Seeing her, he stood silent, not knowing what to say and how to say it.
She broke the silence by saying: “I have heard all that has happened at
the meeting of the Sangh at
Kapilavatsu." He asked her
"Yeshodhara, tell me what you think of my decision to take
“He expected she would collapse. Nothing of the kind happened. With full
control over her emotions, she replied: “What else could I have done if
I were in your position? I certainly would not have been a party to a
war on the Koliyas. "Your decision is the
right decision. You have my consent and my support. I too would have
taken Parivraja with you. If I do not, it is only because I have
Rahul to look after. “I wish it had not
come to this. But we must be bold and brave and face the situation. Do
not be anxious about your parents and your son. I will look after them
till there is life in me. “All I wish is that now that you are becoming
a Parivrajaka leaving behind all who are
near and dear to you, you will find a new way of life which would result
in the happiness of mankind." Siddhartha Gautama was greatly impressed.
He realised as never before what a brave, courageous and noble-minded
woman Yeshodhara was, and how fortunate he was in having her as his wife
and how fate had put them asunder. He asked her to bring Rahul. He cast
his fatherly look on him and left.