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DN 14 From… Mahāpadāna Sutta: Seven Fully Enlightened Buddhas

“…Monks, King Bandhuma thought, ‘Prince Vipassī must not renounce the throne. He must not go forth from the lay life to homelessness and become a recluse. And the words of the brāhmin predictors must not come true.’ Considering this, he provided the prince with even more of the five kinds of worldly pleasures, which the prince enjoyed.

“Then, after many thousands of years had passed, Prince Vipassī had his charioteer drive him to the park once more.

“Along the way he saw a large crowd gathered making a hut out of red clothes. He asked his charioteer, ‘My dear charioteer, why is that crowd making a hut out of red clothes?’

“‘Prince, that is for someone who’s dead.’

“‘Well then, drive the chariot up to the dead.’

“‘Yes, Prince,’ replied the charioteer, and did so.

“When the prince saw the body of the deceased, he addressed the charioteer, ‘But why is he called dead?’

“‘He’s called dead because now his mother and father and his relatives won’t be able to see him anymore, and he won’t see them ever again.’

“‘But my dear charioteer, am I going to die? Am I not exempt from death? Will the king and queen and my other relatives not be able to see me? And will I never see them again?’

“‘Prince, everyone will die, including you. No-one is exempt from death. The king and queen and your other relatives will no longer see you, and you will never see them again.’

“‘Well then, my dear charioteer, that’s enough of the park for today. Let’s return to the royal palace.’

“‘Yes, Prince,’ replied the charioteer and returned to the royal palace.

“Back at the royal palace, the prince was sad and unhappily thought, ‘Shame on this thing called birth, since old age, sickness, and death will come to anyone who’s born.’

“Then King Bandhuma summoned the charioteer and asked, ‘My dear charioteer, I hope the prince enjoyed himself at the park? I hope he was happy there?’

“‘No, sire, the prince didn’t enjoy himself at the park. He didn’t go to the park.’

“‘But what did he see on the way to the park?’ And the charioteer told the king about seeing the dead man and the prince’s reaction.…”

Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 14 Mahāpadāna Sutta: Seven Fully Enlightened Buddhas by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on