I have exciting news! Dad finally decided to let me leave the palace! It’s so exciting I've been waiting to do this for years. I’m glad he realizes that I’m mature enough handle what’s out there.
I am so excited!
I know it’s been a while since I've talked to you. I've just been so heart-broken. It’s been hard to figure out what to say. Dad finally let me leave the palace about a couple weeks ago and explore the city. I know it should have been fun and exciting but the things I saw….. I will never be the same…
Let me explain. So you know that I've lived a pretty sheltered life. I know that Dad just wants to protect me and keep me innocent but so much exposure all at once… It scared me.
Each trip started out great. The guards opened the gates and off we went into the streets of the city. It was so cool to see the land that we rule. We traveled down the road seamlessly until I saw this weird looking- man and turns out he’s sick. Not only is he sick, but anyone can become sick. Anyone can suddenly be stricken with complete disaster.
I got over it the first time. I just accepted that there is sickness out in the world and took another trip into the city. That trip started out well until I saw a beggar and the next trip an old man. I put my disappointment and pain aside and took another trip into the city today and this time someone was DEAD. People DIE. I just don’t understand how everyone can go on about their life knowing that it’s all for nothing. Why are we living if we are just going to die? Why am I living if I’m just going to die?
Until next time,
I know I promised I would talk to you again, but I have been so busy trying to figure out what to do. There is just so much despair in the world and here I am living a lavish life in the palace. I have to do something about it. I can’t just sit back and live my life without purpose. I have to find the end of death and suffering. I have to.
Today is the day. Today is the day I've figured out what to do to end the world’s pain. I have to leave the palace. I know Dad and Gopa are going to be so heart -broken, and Rahula is going to grow up without a father, but I just can’t take it anymore. I have to leave and find the answer to my questions. I’m not sure where I’m going, and I’m not sure what I’m going to encounter but I have to go. I have to leave tonight. Gopa and Rahula are asleep. The chariot is ready. I have to go now.
I hope to be able to talk soon, Diary.
Image of Siddhartha Leaving His Family
Provided by Imgarcade
Author's Note: I wrote this story based off of The Life of Buddha by Andre Ferdinand Herold Translated by Paul C. Blum. In this story, Siddhartha is finally able to leave the palace but because of his sheltered life, he is completely shocked by the pain that exists in the world. He cannot believe that everyone continues to live knowing that sickness and age and death are just around the corner, ready to truncate life at any moment. Siddhartha becomes convicted of his lavish life and goes on a pilgrimage to find "True Knowledge" and end the world's suffering. In this story, I took the thoughts expressed in the book and elaborated into a further detailed narrative of what is going through Siddhartha's Mind.
Bibliography: The Life of Buddha by Andre Ferdinand Herold (1922) Translated by Paul C. Blum (1927)