Riding on his horse Kanthaka, and accompanied by his charioteer Channa, we saw how Siddharth (later Gautam Buddha) left his kingdom in search of his quest. Giving everything to his charioteer and bidding him a final adieu, he then proceeds ahead with just his attire, only to exchange it further with a monk’s saffron robe.
While Channa returns Kapilvastu all distressed and sad, Siddharth appears happy and content despite walking barefoot in the jungle and struggling to tread on such a path. Finally, he meets a monk praying besides a river. Here, he asks him the way to the Asharam of Alara Kalama.
Meanwhile, in the palace all hell break loose when people get to know about Siddharth’s decision. Suddhodhana , Siddharth’s father looks very unhappy who thinks that he will now be a laughing stock. Just when he is ready to kill himself, his wife and Siddharth’s foster mother Prajapati comes in time to save him from his own thoughts of suicide. The only people who now seem to be in bliss post Siddharth’s departure are Devdutt, Mangala and her husband Dronadhana.
In the Buddha serial we saw, Siddharth reaches the Asharam of Alara Kalama where he sees a good number of sanyaasis are deep in meditation. He loves the atmosphere filled with peace and lot of tranquility. He is then introduced to the guru as a citizen of Kapilvastu who wants to become his disciple. Guru ask him whether he would join the others in the bhiksha archana.
He is then taught by the sanyaasis, how to ask alms from househoulds. When Siddharth goes from one home to another asking for bhikshas, his hand involuntarily rises up to give people his blessing for a peaceful and happy life. For a moment, he is stun but then the sanyasis explain him the reflex action of a peaceful mind.
Although the drama is showing us the incident happened in Gautam Buddha’s life one after the other, I’m surprised how did they miss Rajagaha aka Rajgrha (now Rajgir) the first capital of Magadha which was the first place where Siddharth went right after he left Kapilvastu. In addition, this was the place where some officials of the then Magadha ruler Bimbisara recognized him. They immediately informed Bimbisara about Siddharth’s conversion from a royal prince into a monk asking for Bhiksha.
Bimbisara immediately calls Siddharth to his palace and offers him the throne of Magadha but Siddharth only refuses the throne and promises to enter Magadha as soon as he gains enlightenment. Gautam Buddha indeed kept his promise and visited Rajagaha. It was one of his favorite places. The popular Atanatiya conference was also held here in the Vulture’s peak. This place was the capital of Magadha until Ajatashatru (Bimbisara’s son) made Pataliputra (now Patna) his capital. Rajagaha is also famous from the times of Mahabharat. Back then, Jarasandh who was defeated 17 times by Krishna, was a king of Magadha.
Coming back to the serial, let’s see how Siddharth continues his journey and becomes Gautam Buddha. Also, I’m eager to know whether the makers of the serial will stick to history and known facts or will try to distort the facts just like another historic drama on Sony TV, Maharana Pratap.
By: Deepti Verma
Image Source: Departure of Siddharth by Abanindranath Tagore, via Wikimedia Commons, Snapshot from Youtube