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PARIVRAJA – THE WAY OUT

 

The Senapati said: “It is difficult to accept your suggestion. For even if you voluntarily agreed to undergo the sentence of death or exile, the matter is sure to become known to the king of the Kosalas and he is sure to conclude that it is the Sangh which has inflicted this punishment and take action against the Sangh." “If this is the difficulty I can easily suggest a way out," said Siddhartha Gautama. " I can become a Parivrajaka and leave this country. It is a kind of an exile." The Senapati thought this was a good solution. But he had still some doubt about Siddhartha being able to give effect to it. So the Senapati asked Siddhartha: “How can you become a Parivrajaka unless you obtain the consent of your parents and your wife?” Siddhartha assured him that he would do his best to obtain their permission. “I promise," he said, " to leave this country immediately whether I obtain their consent or not." The Sangh felt that the proposal made by Siddhartha was the best way out and they agreed to it. After finishing the business before the meeting, the Sangh was about to rise when a young Sakya got up in his place and said: “Give me a hearing, I have something important to say." Being granted permission to speak, he said: “I have no doubt that Siddhartha Gautama will keep his promise and leave the country immediately. There is, however, one question over which I do not feel very happy. "Now that Siddhartha will soon be out of sight, does the Sangh propose to give immediate effect to its declaration of war against the Koliyas?  “I want the Sangh to give further consideration to this question.  In any event, the king of the Kosalas is bound to come to know of the exile of Siddhartha Gautama. If the Sakyas declare a war against the Koliyas immediately, the king of Kosalas will understand that Siddhartha left only because he was opposed to war against the Koliyas. This will not go well with us. "I, therefore, propose that we should also allow an interval to pass between the exile of Siddhartha Gautama and the actual commencement of hostilities so as not to allow the King of Kosala to establish any connection between the two." The Sangh realised that this was a very important proposal. And as a matter of expediency, the Sangh agreed to accept it. Thus ended the tragic session of the Sakya Sangh and the minority which was opposed to the war but who had not the courage to say so, heaved a sigh of relief that it was able to overcome a situation full of calamitous consequences.

 

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