The Prince goes to see the sleeping princess Bimba as a way of taking leave

As soon as Prince Siddhattha had cried out, a voice came in answer. The owner of the voice was Channa, a close servant of Prince Siddhattha and also one of the sahajata, born on the same day as the Prince.

If we were to compare the Buddha's life story to a play, Channa would be one of the main characters. His importance is in the role he played in the Buddha's leaving of the home life. He is also well known in the time after the Bodhisatta left the home life and became the Buddha, when he became a monk. Channa was a very stubborn monk who would listen only to the Buddha, because he held that he was the Buddha's former servant. He referred to the Buddha, even after he had ordained as a monk, as "Young Prince."

At this point in the story, Channa was sleeping outside the prince's room, his head resting on the doorstep. When Prince Siddhattha ordered him to go and prepare his horse, Channa immediately complied by going to the stables.

As for the Prince, who had firmly made up his mind to leave home, he went to the sleeping quarters of Princess Bimba, his wife. Arriving there, he parted the curtain to her bed. The scene of his wife sleeping soundly, her arm resting around the head of Rahula, his newly born son, filled the Prince with love and longing for his wife and the son he was only now seeing for the very first time.

At first he thought to himself, "I will lift up her arm and hold my son," but then he was afraid that by so doing he would wake her, thereby obstructing his plans to leave the palace. So he suppressed his desire, thinking, "No, only after I have become a Buddha will I come back and gaze on my son's face."

Then he left the room and went down from the palace to Channa, who had prepared the horse already.

Copyright 2002 Mahidol University All rights reserved.
Mahidol University Computing Center, Rama VI Road, Rajathewi, Bangkok 10400, THAILAND Tel. (662) 354-4333