site logo

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 dau
hter, 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.