the time Prince Siddharth finished his education, he was sixteen year
old. His parents also were anxious to get him married. There was a
Sakya by name
Dandapani. Yeshodhara was his daughter. She was well known for her
beauty and for her character i. e. 'sila."
Yeshodhara had reached her sixteenth year
and Dandapani was thinking about her marriage. According to custom
Dandapani sent invitations to young men of all the neighbouring
countries for the Swayamvar of his
daughter. An invitation was also sent to Siddharth Gautama. They asked
him to go to the Swayamvar and offer his hand to Yeshodhara. He agreed
to follow his parents' wishes. From
amongst the young men Yeshodhara's choice
fell on Siddharth Gautama. It was love at first sight. However,
Dandapani was not very happy. He felt
doubtful about the success of the marriage.
Siddharth, he felt, was addicted to the company of saints and sages.
He preferred loneliness. How could
he be a successful householder? Yeshodhara,
who was determined to marry none but Siddharth, asked her father whether
to be in the company of saints and sages was a crime. She did not think
it was. Knowing her daughter's determination to marry no one but
Siddharth Gautama, the mother of Yeshodhara told Dandapani that he must
consent. Dandapani did. The rivals of Gautama were not only disappointed
but felt that they were insulted. They wanted that in fairness to them
Yeshodhara should have applied some test for her selection. But she did
not. For the time being they kept quiet, believing that Dandapani
would not allow Yeshodhara to choose Siddharth Gautama so that their
purpose would be served. But when Dandapani failed, they made demand
that a test of skill in archery be prescribed. Dandapani had to agree.
At first Siddharth was not prepared for this. But
Channa, his charioteer,
pointed out to him what disgrace his refusal would bring upon his
father, upon his family and upon Yeshodhara. Siddharth Gautama was
greatly impressed by this argument and agreed to take part in the
contest. The contest began. Each candidate showed his skill in turn.
Gautama's turn came last. But his was the
highest marksmanship. Thereafter the marriage took place. Both
Suddhodana and Dandapani were happy. So
was Yeshodhara and Mahaprajapati. After a
long term of married life Yeshodhara gave birth to a son. He was named