When Prince Siddhartha reached the age of 16, King Suddhodhana realising that the young prince was always reflective, remembered what the five wise men had predicted at his naming ceremony. He remembered that the Prince would renounce lay life and enter a monkhood when he reaches his youth. The King was worried, because he did not wish his son to become a monk, instead he wished him to become a “Sakwithi Raja” (a wheel turning King which means a king who would rule the whole world under one flag, extremely peacefully).
As Prince Siddhartha was very kind, he helped everyone in the palace. As a boy of sixteen the Prince was a handsome and strong guy, who with his education was able to do many things, that he was not helpless. He knew how to care for all those who served him at the palace, whenever they had any mild ailments etc. He could look after the animals that were wounded and cure them too with his “Mega Mettha”, the power to heal through loving kindness, and care. So, he never had any reason to doubt that there could be sicknesses that cannot be cured. He was so much shielded from reality that even though he had seen age old sages and the like, who have a nice spiritual personality and a look of happiness around them, he had never seen a helpless, dirty, aged man, who is so worn out and bitten by age that he cannot fend for himself, and thereby rendered helpless. Nor, did he see anybody lying helplessly suffering on a deathbed. His idea of death was simply passing away in Samadhi.
However, in spite of his shielded life the King noticed the prince often in a reflective mood. This worried him. He asked the wise men “What shall I do to make him happy and enjoy himself”. They advised, “Now your son is sixteen years, why not find him a beautiful bride. This would soon make him forget on whatever he is reflecting on.”
|Depiction of Prince meeting Princess|