The Prince awakens late at night and sees the ladies of the harem lying in disarray; he becomes despondent and decides to leave the home life

From the moment Prince Siddhattha had seen the four divine messengers and definitely resolved to leave the home life, his resolution was unwavering, in spite of the bond on his heart that had just arisen, in the form of his new-born beloved son.

That night, after coming back from his trip to the royal pleasure grove, the Pathamasambodhi states that "... the Prince the Bodhisatta was particularly moved to the homeless life. This, together with his excellent wisdom devoid of attraction to sensual pleasures, caused him to take no delight in the dancing of the dancers that were so attractive, and in spite of them he drifted off to sleep for a moment ..."

The prince's palace was lit up within by lanterns which, "fed by aromatic oils, illuminated the palace jewels and gold." The maidens doing the singing and dancing, seeing the Prince fall asleep, themselves lay down their instruments and also went to sleep then and there.

Not long after, the Prince awoke from his slumber and saw the ungainly postures of the sleeping maidens. The Pathamasambodhi says, "He saw the group of maidens sprawling, saliva drooling, some of them snoring loudly with sounds like crows, some of them gnashing their teeth, some of them murmuring in their sleep, some of them with mouths open weirdly, some of them with clothes shed, revealing their narrow places..."

The Prince alighted from his bed, got up and looked around the palace. Although it was brightly lit by the lanterns and beautifully decorated, it seemed to him to be dark, like a charnel ground. The living beings who were still breathing and sleeping in unguarded postures, the singers and dancers, seemed to the Prince to be like so many corpses in a charnel ground. He uttered, "I will leave the palace and take to the homeless life this very night," and, going to the palace door, cried out to the pages guarding the door, "Who is there?"

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