The Perfection of Determination - Conduct of Wise Temiya IV


At the end of that night, in the early morning,

the charioteer yoked the chariot and let it remain at the gate.

He came to queen Candadeví and said,

‘O queen, be not angry with me. I just follow the king’s command.’

Then he carried the prince and came down from the palace.

The queen lamented with a loud cry and collapsed.

Then the Bodhisatta looked at his mother and thought,

‘When I do not speak she will die because of her sorrow,

and thus, I would like to speak.’

But he refrained from speaking with the thought,

‘If I speak, my efforts of sixteen years will have become fruitless.

But if I do not speak, it will be to the benefit of myself and my parents.’

Then the charioteer lifted him into the chariot,

and it went a distance of three leagues 

and there the end of a forest appeared to the charioteer as if it were a
charnel ground.

He thought that it was a suitable place and turning the chariot

he stopped it by the roadside.

He took off all the Bodhisatta’s ornaments and laid them down.

Thereupon he took a spade and began to dig a hole not far from there.


When the charioteer Sunanda was digging the hole,

the Bodhisatta thought, ‘This is my time for effort.’

He rose up, rubbed his hands and feet and he thought that he still had strength.

He thought that he could come down from the chariot, and so he did.

He walked backwards and forwards several times

and thought that he had the strength to go even a hundred leagues.

He seized the back of the chariot and lifted it up as if it were a toy-cart for

He reflected, ‘If the charioteer would want to harm me,

I have enough strength to defend myself.’.......”
We then read that the Bodhisatta taught the Dhamma to the charioteer, saying.

“You are dependent on me, the son of the king.

If you bury me in the forest, you will commit evil.

It is as if a person who sits or lies in the shade of a tree

will not break the branches.

Because someone who harms his friend is an evil person.

The king is like the tree, I am like the branch,

and you, charioteer, are like the traveller who sits in its shade.

If you bury me in the forest, you commit an evil deed.”

  We read further on that when the charioteer heard this, he implored the  Bodhisatta to return, because he knew that he was not dumb. The Bodhisatta explained the reason why he did not want to return, and he spoke about his inclination to become a recluse. He explained about his past lives and his fear of the danger of hell. When the charioteer had listened to the Bodhisatta’s teaching of Dhamma, he wanted to apply it and also become a recluse. Thereupon the Bodhisatta said,

“O, charioteer, take the chariot back and return after you have paid your

because a recluse should not have debts,

as is the exhortation of all hermits.”

  Then he sent the charioteer back to the king. The charioteer took the chariot and the ornaments, went to visit the king and informed him of what had happened. The king departed from the city together with his fourfold army, the wetnurses, the citizens and the villagers, in order to visit the Bodhisatta.

Topic 284