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The Ties Of Life

When Siddhattha had grown to youth, his father desired to see him
married, and he sent to all his kinsfolk, commanding them to
bring their princesses that the prince might select one of them
as his wife.

But the kinsfolk replied and said: "The prince is young and
delicate; nor has he learned any of the sciences. He would not be
able to maintain our daughter, and should there be war he would
be unable to cope with the enemy."

The prince was not boisterous, but pensive in his nature. He
loved to stay under the great jambu-tree in the garden of his
father, and, observing the ways of the world, gave himself up to

And the prince said to his father: "Invite our kinsfolk that they
may see me and put my strength to the test." And his father did
as his son bade him.

When the kinsfolk came, and the people of the city Kapilavatthu
had assembled to test the prowess and scholarship of the prince,
he proved himself manly in all the exercises both of the body and
of the mind, and there was no rival among the youths and men of
India who could surpass him in any test, bodily or mental.

He replied to all the questions of the sages; but when he
questioned them, even the wisest among them were silenced.

Then Siddhattha chose himself a wife. He selected Yasodhara, his
cousin, the gentle daughter of the king of Koli. And Yasodhara
was betrothed to the prince.

In their wedlock was born a son whom they named Rahula which
means "fetter" or "tie", and King Suddhodana, glad that an heir
was born to his son, said:

"The prince having begotten a son, will love him as I love the
prince. This will be a strong tie to bind Siddhattha's heart to
the interests of the world, and the kingdom of the Sakyas will
remain under the sceptre of my descendants."

With no selfish aim, but regarding his child and the people at
large, Siddhattha, the prince, attended to his religious duties,
bathing his body in the holy Ganges and cleansing his heart in
the waters of the law. Even as men desire to give happiness to
their children, so did he long to give peace to the world.

Next: The Three Woes

Previous: The Bodhisatta's Birth

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