The Perfection of Determination - Conduct of Wise Temiya III

 

His parents could not cause him to change his mind,

though they tried him for sixteen years with great tests and many smaller ones.

They implored him to change his mind many times,

saying, ‘Prince Temiya, dear child, your parents know that you are not dumb,

because your mouth, ears and legs are not like those of someone who is dumb, deaf and crippled.

You are the son your parents were wishing for.

Do not destroy us now,

but deliver us from the blame of all the kings of Rose Apple Land’.

Though they entreated him in this way, the boy pretended not to hear them.

 

Then the king summoned the fortune-tellers

who said that the prince’s feet etc, were not like those of someone who is crippled.

They said, ‘This boy is not crippled, dumb and deaf.

But he is a person of ill-luck.

If such a person would stay in your palace,

three dangers are threatening: to your life, to your power and to the queen.

But when he was born, we did not want to cause grief to you

and therefore we said that the prince had all auspicious characteristics.’

 

The king who was afraid of these dangers

gave a command to put the boy in an impropitious chariot,

take him out by the back gate and bury him in the charnel ground.

When the Bodhisatta heard this he greatly rejoiced,

and he thought, ‘The wish I had for a long time will reach fulfilment.’

 

When queen Candadeví knew that the king had given a command to bury
the prince,

she visited the king and asked him as a boon to give the kingdom to the prince.

 

The king said, ‘Your son is ill-luck, I cannot give him the kingdom.’

 

Thereupon, the queen said, ‘If you will not give it to him for his whole life,

give it to him for seven years.’

 

The king said, ‘I cannot give it.’

 

The queen said, ‘Then give it to him for six years, for five, four, three, two,
for one year.

Give it to him for seven months, for six, five, four, three, two months, one month,

for half a month, or even for seven days only.’

 

The king then consented.

Thereupon queen Candadeví had her son adorned

and a proclamation was made in the city to the beat of the drum,

with the announcement, ‘This is the reign of prince Temiya’.

He was seated upon an elephant with a white umbrella held over his head,

and he was triumphantly led around the city.

When he had returned he was laid on his royal bed.

 

Queen Candadevi implored him all night, ‘O Temiya,

I did not sleep for sixteen years,

I have wept because of you, my child,

so that my eyes have become swollen and my heart is pierced with sorrow.

I know that you are not cripple, deaf and dumb,

do not make me utterly destitute.’

 

The queen implored the prince day after day for five days.

Then on the sixth day the king summoned the charioteer Sunanda

and said to him: ‘Early tomorrow morning you have to take the boy in an unlucky chariot,

and bury him in the charnel ground;

then fill the whole well up with earth and return.’

 

When the queen heard this, she said to her son:

‘My child, the king of Kasi has given orders

that you are to be buried in the charnel ground tomorrow.

Tomorrow you will die.’

When the Bodhisatta heard this, he greatly rejoiced

that his sixteen years of endeavour had almost come to an end.

But his mother’s heart was as it were cleft.

Topic 284