The Second Journey

The King heard about his son's unhappy mood and wondered what could have gone wrong. "He needs more variety, " the King thought. "I will plan another trip for him , but this time to an even more beautiful section of the city."

And so Channa prepared Kantaka again, and again they rode out into Kapilavastu. The streets were decorated as before, and the people were again happy to see their Prince. But this time, seen only by Siddhartha and his charioteer, a vision of a sick person appeared in the crowd of laughing people.

"Look, Channa," the Prince called out. "Who is that man who coughs so violently, who shakes his body and cries so pitifully?"

"That is a sick person, O Prince." "Why is he sick?" he asked. "People become sick for many reasons, Sire. Perhaps he ate some bad food or let himself become too cold. Now his body is out of balance and he feels feverish."

"Do even happy people like those in the crowd ever become sick?" "Oh yes," answered the charioteer. " A person might be healthy one day and sick the next. No one is safe from illness." For the second time the Prince was deeply shocked. " I can not understand," he said , "how people can be so carefree and happy knowing that sickness might strike them at any time. Please, turn back the chariot. I have seen more than enough for one day." When he returned to the palace the Prince was even more unhappy than before. Nothing anyone did could make him smile, and he did not want to speak to anyone. When the King found out about his son's unhappiness he became very worried and confused. "I have tried everything to make my son happy, but lately his heart is filled with gloom. I must ask my ministers what I can do to brighten my son's spirits."

They suggested that the next time the Prince wanted to leave the palace grounds, he should not go alone. Rather, he should be accompanied by singers, dancers and nobles from the court. And they should plan to visit a specially prepared garden where the Prince could be amused and distracted by all sorts of entertainment.

And so, when Prince Siddhartha again requested to visit the city beyond the garden walls, many arrangements were made to make the journey as enjoyable as possible. The city was beautiful even more than before . All unpleasant sights removed and a special park was prepared with all manner of delights.