The Prince was aware of Aging

The Prince was aware of Aging

The blessed one was NOT a foolish young prince, as taught for many years through the incident of seeing the four great omens. 

In this “Sukumāla Sutta (A Delicate Lifestyle)” it is clearly saying that prince has seen the first omen of an old age from the very beginning by seeing at the decayed people around him at the kingdom. The same sutta also explained how the prince’s father King Suddhodhana facilitate him with the most luxurious lifestyle ever and how the prince, even as a teenager, didn’t fall for them from the beginning. This shows how wise he was and also shows the level of wisdom of a person who is about to be enlightened and cease the existence.

Then what about the story of Channa?  The story with the charioteer “Channa”, also there in Tripitaka – the pali canon.  Yes, everything is there, but one need to have wisdom to grab the hidden depth of those incidents.

The prince Siddhartha always thinking about the meaninglessness in the existence and always curious for an answer.  Many suttas reflect this nature of the prince in many ways.  It’s natural to question others to check whether their observations are same as mine, when you observe something deeper.  This happened with the Channa the charioteer. 

When the day that the prince went out with the charioteer Channa, he wanted to check his friend’s observation over the first omen.  So, as soon as he noticed an old man, the prince questioned Channa, by asking who he is?  But the answer of Channa was quite obvious.  He was just an ordinary man with very basic observation skills.  So, he went on by saying the popular interpretation of old age.  “How one is getting old, and how young people have to face that stage one day… etc… Etc…”

People like Channa represented the thinking pattern of the majority of the people.  So, it’s quite obvious, that the person who came to save the worldly beings get his first spark that he should be hurried.  Because the majority of people are not seeing things as it is.  They are delusional and disappointing.  So, the feeling of being hurried to find a solution naturally comes for a wise being.

One shouldn’t accept teachings, just because there were in scriptures.  This is the guidance by Samma SamBuddha.  You can see the possible consequences happens when do so.  

It says, Father of the prince tried to keep everything look young in the palace.  But, just think about it… How practical is to keep every being look young in a kingdom? Prince Siddhartha’s father himself was not young… and his teacher wasn’t a young one…  What a childish explanation is that? 

Decaying or old age doesn’t mean the life form with wrinkles and hunchback… A wise one will always notice the decaying, the change of a being in any form. Like Prince Siddhartha grown up with his same age colleagues like charioteer Channa or cousins… Growing itself means decaying. If you are wise enough, then you can observe that you are not going to stop with the same look always. Also, that you are subjected to change!

So only those who can’t think beyond the box, able to limit the way they think, BUT not the wise ones. This is what Samma Sambuddha is explaining in that Sutta through his own observation as a young boy.  So, when your observations are limited, you interpret the deeper teachings according to yours.  So, be careful and be wise!