The Perfection of Determination - Conduct of Wise Temiya II

From then on the Bodhisatta pretended to be dumb, cripple and deaf.

His parents and the wetnurses,

when taking into account the formation of the jaws of the dumb,

the structure of the ears of the deaf,

the hands and the feet of the crippled,

noticed that all those characteristics were not to be found in him.

They thought that there should be a reason for his behaviour.

Therefore, they started to test the prince by giving him no milk for a whole day.

Although he was hungry, he uttered no sound to make known that he wanted milk.

His mother thought, ‘The boy is famished, the wetnurses should give him milk’

and she made the wetnurses gave him milk.

They gave him milk at intervals for a whole year,

but they could not discover his weak point.


The wetnurses thought that children usually like cakes, dainties, fruits, toys

and different kinds of special food.

They gave him all those things

so that they could test whether he was really handicapped,

but during the five years they tested him they could not discover any weak point.

Then the wetnurses thought that children usually are afraid of fire,

of a wild elephant, of serpents, of a man brandishing a sword,

and therefore they tested the prince with those things,

but he did not see any danger in them.


The Bodhisatta was unshakable in his resolution

because he thought of the danger of hell.

He thought, ‘the danger of hell is more fearful,

it is a hundredfold, a thousandfold, even a hundred thousandfold more fearful.’

The wetnurses who tested him in these ways did not see any weak point in the

They thought that children usually like to watch mimes

and therefore they arranged for an assembly of mimes,

they arranged for players of conches and drums to cause deafening noises,

but they could not make the Bodhisatta change his mind.


They lighted lamps in the darkness or a blaze of fire to light up the darkness.

They smeared his whole body with molasses

and let him lie down in a place infested with flies.

They did not let him bathe and made him lie down in his excrements and urine.

People were sarcastic towards him, they ridiculed and scolded him,

they disapproved of him, because he was laying in his own urine and excrement.

They lighted pans of blazing hot fire and put these in the bed under him,

they used many tricks to test him,

but inspite of all this they could not make the prince change his mind.


The wetnurses tested him until he was sixteen years old.

They considered, ‘When children are sixteen years old,

no matter whether they are cripple, deaf and dumb,

they all delight in what is enjoyable,

or they want to see things that are worth seeing.

Therefore we shall arrange for women performing dramas to seduce the prince.’

They bathed him in perfumed water and adorned him like a son of the gods,

they invited him to a royal suite full of pleasing things.

They filled his inner chamber with flowers,

with unguents and garlands, just as a dwelling of the gods.

They made the women who looked as graceful as Apassara goddesses

wait on the prince in order to seduce him and to cause him to take delight in them.

However, the Bodhisatta, in his perfect wisdom,

stopped his inhalations and exhalations,

hoping that the women would not touch his body.


When those women could not touch the prince’s body,

they thought, ‘This boy has a rigid body,

and thus, he is not a human, but he must be a yakka.’

Then they all returned.


Topic 284