Buddha, Vol. 5: Deer Park (Buddha #5)

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For the fourth volume in the series. The next volume begins with Devadatta scouting for warriors to compete for the palace competition, which eventually leads him to Tatta and offering him a slightly different opportunity to join the royal guard. Tatta isn’t interested, but Devadatta doesn’t give up easily. Tatta weighs his options after he realizes he can invade Kosala, agreeing after. They immediately begin training which is more detailed than Tatta bargained for. Devadatta also gives him etiquette techniques he must follow as well, which doesn’t sit well with Tatta at first, but soon enough they’re on their way to visit the King to put Tatta to the test. He impresses the prime minister and Tatta is hired with Devadatta staying on as his manager. Devadatta soon learns of the King Bimbisara’s distress over being killed by his son at the age of forty-one and soon gets the chance to ask the Prince his opinion on the subject, which makes the eight-year-old steam with anger before riding off on his horse. Devadatta believes he and the boy would get along famously due to the lad’s intelligence, but right after those thoughts, they discover the Prince has been attacked by a killer elephant.

Bimbisara soon dispatches a reward to any one man who would go to the mountain to kill the elephant and return the Prince safely. Devadatta elects Tatta, who declines immediately, but Migaila has already gotten his belongings ready for him to go and convinces him to agree with it by suggesting he use his power to enter animals, which he’d not done in years, but couldn’t argue. Soon after getting to the mountain, he locates the elephant trying to bust a tree the Prince had climbed. Tatta goes a safe distance away to try and possess the elephant, which doesn’t work in time for the wind changes and the elephant notices his presence. After getting chased, Tatta gives the animal a killing blow and then almost gets hit with his own blade, but the beast still doesn’t die and so Tatta informs the Prince he is safe and he’s going to follow the elephant. When the Prince reports what happened to Bimbisara, the King orders his soldiers to go track the man down. Meanwhile Tatta detects where the elephant was heading and why the elephant tried to kill any human who got near. When he requests the King to let the elephant alone to die how he wants, at first Bimbisara doesn’t want to comply, but soon Tatta confides them why he should allow it, convincing him to be compassionate.

When Tatta is back home, Devadatta seems almost disgusted by Tatta’s inability to finish off the elephant since he’d been a thief and brigand before. Migaila explains the reason for Tatta’s change in character being due to Siddhartha and how he’d saved her life and Tatta wanted to emulate him. Devadatta has trouble following the point of his endeavor talking with Bimbisara about the subject and getting the advice to go see Siddhartha for himself. When Devadatta goes to look for Siddhartha, he’s annoyed to see he isn’t at the tree the monk said he was, but after speaking to a couple of Siddhartha’s followers, detects he’s in a cave. Devadatta was expecting to be intimidated by Siddhartha, but upon seeing him loses his fear and requests an hour of Siddhartha’s time, which he is reluctant to give and after asking why he’s in the cave instead of outside, Siddhartha confesses of Mara bothering him for the last week at the tree and how he’s been trying to rid himself of it since all it’s doing is making him ascertain a way to die in blissful enlightenment. Devadatta maintained feeding off the weak is the only way to survive and this is why Siddhartha is being plagued by his thoughts, to which Siddhartha denies, but in the end, Devadatta claims he will show him he is right, ending the chapter with the narrative of expecting a tragedy to soon occur.

We begin the second with the Prince not wanting to continue riding his horse due to the thoughts of the elephant coming to mind and when told to study on the subjects which will help him be King, he spots Devadatta and asks to play cards with him. After the Prince loses his King card, he gets upset and is told he will be able to master the game in a year, they move on to pitcher-batter. The King and Queen see how their son is becoming more light-hearted from Devadatta’s influence and whilst the Queen is reluctant to his changing her son, the King believes Devadatta could become a great advisor to him. Then a message from Kosala comes about wanting to have a duel between the two to abate the border conflict once and for all, so the King enlists Tatta’s skill as a fighter. After first declining and then being tricked into accepting by Devadatta, Tatta goes to see what the fighter from Kosala looks like, since he happened to be close by. Upon seeing the man he was to fight was a giant, he then overhears a soldier describe to the giant what kind of man Tatta is, which was mythological in description. After hearing the giant had seen and gotten advice from Siddhartha though, he approaches him after the soldier leaves and they begin bonding over each knowing Siddhartha and Tatta tries to relate to the giant what Siddhartha was like when he was young. Then we get their introductions, Tatta officially meeting Yatala. Tatta goes his seperate way when they both agree to the fate which will befall them the next day when they fight and when Migaila asks why he’s feeling oddly about the match the next day, he confides in her of how he’s feeling insecure about the fight and not having felt this before, to which Migaila states for him to try and let it go, to rest for the coming competition. The next day the rules of the duel are given, making it official the loser must fall and death must follow. The fight is officially begun and the chapter ends.

When they begin, Yatala has the upper hand, but then Tatta gets a blow in to be given another, as well and the fighting continues. They make it to the first break and the Prince wants to supply Tatta with a better weapon, but is told by his father the rules allow only for the weapon he already has, making the Prince go off and talk with Devadatta about it, who says they should wait and see what happens, thinking Tatta will come up with a plan if he lasts the half hour to defeat Yatala the next day. The next round, Tatta makes better headway and is saved by the end of the timed duel, due to resume the next day. Tatta is getting a verbal lashing by the royal priest when the Prince gives him a token of luck. When he gets home to Migaila he shares his plan to extend the game so he can request the next day’s continuation occur in Kosala and go through with his revenge. Migaila reminds him of his promise to Siddhartha to become his first disciple and she professes they will be their together, to confirm Tatta will survive his mission in Kosala. The second part of the fight is shown after and Devadatta is seen with two masked hired men who will help fix the fight. When Tatta and Yatala start, Tatta makes good headway, but then gets into trouble, getting cocky and putting himself in a metaphorical corner, when Yatala falls inexplicably and shouts for Tatta to finish him, but Tatta refuses to comply, knowing foul play is at hand and voices his thought. The King steps in and allows the match to be scored a draw on account of the suspicion and gets Yatala the best medical examiner to diagnose him.

They discern Yatala was poisoned and hasn’t been overcome by this deathly discovery. Devadatta then goes to the same assassin and requests a different sort of potion. After it being provided, he tests it out through sneak attack upon the supplier, being satisfied with the results. We then see the King declaring he will have the assassin be searched for when Devadatta reveals he knows who it was and would like some time to catch him, but the King refuses wanting a name so he can have him brought to him to be judged. Then we see Tatta and Migaila asleep when she gets up to drink some water and Tatta learns what she drank was the poison Devadatta had acquired. Devadatta shows up after Tatta figures out what had happened and fills him in on the reason she was treated with so little regard and lies to him about what “she had done”. In the end, Devadatta has her arrested after showing Tatta the planted poison she had used against Yatala. Devadatta then reveals what will happen to her and how he can save her, which is to travel to Kosala, where they will judge her. The plan was for Tatta to intercept them on the way and retrieve Migaila without killing her captors. He proceeds with his plan, taking them out one by one and leaving a couple to go and inform of their captive being dead. Tatta then decides to flee to the forest of trials as a safe-haven for them.

Tatta tracks him down to some ruins and Devadatta perceives Tatta’s plan, deciding he would see what Siddhartha would do. Tatta locates Siddhartha and congratulates him on his enlightenment, they retreat to his cave and Devadatta curiously looks in on them trying to decipher what Siddhartha could possibly do for them, enjoying the hopelessness of their situation. After Siddhartha is told of Migaila’s poisoned throat, he tries to meditate to identify the truth of her missing voice. Siddhartha helps her unearth her voice again, surprising and devastating Devadatta’s “master plan”. Then Siddhartha notices Devadatta in eye-sight and asks Tatta who it is after he was thanking him for helping Migaila speak again. When Siddhartha gets closer and hears Devadatta’s awed speech, he remembers him, to Tatta’s surprise and then Devadatta asks to become his disciple. Siddhartha asks some preliminary questions and makes Devadatta consider his actions up to this point and whether they were for himself or others. His questions remind Devadatta of Naradatta from his youth and upon Tatta, Migaila and his return home, he starts to consider making an organization to widen the publicity of Buddha’s teachings, becoming more firm with his idea of becoming Buddha’s “manager”.

Siddhartha starts the next chapter in his cave when a deer appears inside and Siddhartha believes the deer wants him to follow him out, but it’s raining and Siddhartha tries to reason with the deer to stay until the weather clears. The deer tries biting Siddhartha’s robe to bring him forward and eventually persuades him out into the rain among other animals, soon realizing the Niranjana River is flooding. Siddhartha then understands the deer had saved him from drowning to stand among the animals in safety. When the weather clears up he allows the deer to show him where he should go next, soon running into a man named Upaka who doesn’t believe Siddhartha when he informs him he’s attained enlightenment and doesn’t have a master, then enquiring where he’s going. Upaka seems to sneer at the idea of Siddhartha following a “beast” on where to head to next and planning to enlighten those there. After Upaka wanders off, Siddhartha continues his journey four hundred miles to Sarnath. When they reach the “Deer Park”, Siddhartha is content with the area and observes other Samanna there including some old “friends” who negatively take the news of Siddhartha’s enlightenment. When they leave, the deer leads him to a comfortable spot to sit and then has the deer as his first official disciple, talking of situations the deer would get in and how to be unafraid of death when it comes. A parable is told, ending the chapter of a deer king whom sacrificed his life to save his kin-folk, impressing upon the human king who hunted them to stop hunting in their forest ever again.

The next chapter begins with the other Samanna wondering who Siddhartha will teach when no one is there, Dhepa being told Siddhartha is teaching the deer. Dhepa doesn’t believe it and goes to see the truth to the ascetic’s words. Dhepa butts into Siddhartha teaching the deer and stops him from continuing by accusing him of sorcery. When they go back to their area, Dhepa begins wondering where all his group had gone, realizing they’d gone to listen to Siddhartha’s sermons. Then we are told a story of an ox who wants to become human. When Siddhartha finishes, the ascetics who left Dhepa ask him to continue and when they return Dhepa chastises them for getting “seduced” by Siddhartha’s words and they in return advise him to try listening to one of his sermons sometime. When Siddhartha was going to continue to give sermons to the deer, he hears a baby deer which was caught in a slope near an ant hill and tries to save it before it gets killed, which Dhepa takes advantage of by convincing himself it’s the perfect trial for Siddhartha to endure. He and the baby deer get bit, but the deer survives and he does as well, but needs more time to heal, the two ascetics having changed their minds to how Dhepa trained them, deciding to go off to the other side of the forest with only one ascetic left to accompany Dhepa. Before making it there though, they see men lying dead, arrows sticking out of them, and Dhepa realizes a war must be going on not long before he ends up getting hit as well, after which, we see an army marching and the chapter ends.

The next begins with Tatta going against the Kosalan army trying to get to the General. When the General shows himself atop an elephant and refuses to fight fairly, Tatta brings him down to his level by force. When he gives Tatta information about Prince Crystal’s sleeping habits, Tatta spares him even though the General is now disgraced and wants death, but Tatta runs off not caring to grant the General’s request. We then see Prince Crystal discover Siddhartha among the deer. Once introductions are given, Prince Crystal takes offense to Siddhartha’s name of Buddha and commands his elephant to crush him because he was blocking his path and ignored the command for him to move. The elephant refuses and Prince Crystal tries to shoot an arrow at Siddhartha, which deer kept leaping in front of to protect him. Prince Crystal then retreats in fear and we go on to see where Tatta’s headed. He had spied on the Prince and noticed he’d been cooped up in his camp for a couple days, upon letting the soldiers know, they wanted to raid them as soon as they could. Tatta stops them, wanting to kill him by himself and deciding to wait until Thursday, which the general agrees to after Tatta allows he attack on Friday. Before Thursday arrives though, the Prince goes off at night on his horse and Tatta follows, still planning on his attack.

The Prince though, has gone in search of Buddha, not caring about anything else. We then see Siddhartha with the group of ascetics who are with Dhepa and what had happened to him in the last chapter. Siddhartha is still trying to figure out a way to help him as the rest of the ascetics focus on the negative qualities and actions Dhepa had done to Siddhartha and he is defending Dhepa by sharing the one thing which was positive. Siddhartha then begins trying to elicit a compatible blood type to transfuse Dhepa’s with and recognizes the only one which works is his own. Then Prince Crystal shows up, commanding Siddhartha to rise and he refusing due to the transfusion, which he explains and the boy not caring, bringing out his sword, adamant in getting Siddhartha to obey him. When the Prince threatens to stab Siddhartha, Tatta comes out and clashes swords with him. Siddhartha stops him and Tatta retreats, torn with how he’ll complete his revenge if he can’t kill the Prince. Then Dhepa begins coming around as Prince Crystal retreats in shame of Tatta getting the best of him, ending the volume. This one was a bit harder to get through, but still pretty good with the Yatala part of the story; I’ll be glad to start the next.

Buddha, Vol. 4: The Forest of Uruvela (Buddha #4) Part 2 of Part 3

For the third volume in the series. This portion begins with Bimbisara brooding on his impending death and his people celebrating his birthday. Siddhartha arrives not long after and Bimbisara reports his impatience in waiting to talk with him, Siddhartha explaining he’d been training elsewhere and hadn’t known of the urgency. Bimbisara confides in Siddhartha of his tortured thoughts and Siddhartha responds by describing to him the ascetics he’s met on his travels. One master accepted them to train with his disciples and harshly disciplined them if they didn’t follow his instructions. The ascetic soon notices of Siddhartha’s uniqueness and offers him a partnership in teaching his disciples with him. Siddhartha declines since the ascetic didn’t know how to teach him what he wanted to learn. The next ascetic was angered at Siddhartha’s conduct towards the master he had gone to before him, Alara, and Siddhartha tries to explain his reasons.

This master, Uddaka gives him a task he thinks Siddhartha will fail, but soon Siddhartha figures out Uddaka’s technique and he as well tries to keep Siddhartha with him, but Siddhartha believed there was an answer to what he was seeking when Dhepa insists their only other option is to undergo another ordeal. Dhepa describes a forest they could travel to start the trials and Siddhartha still can’t comprehend value in damaging one’s body to uncover answers, but agrees to go. When Bimibisara tries to advise him of the risk he’s taking in agreeing to go, Siddhartha replies in return of no one but God decides whether he will survive and so Bimbisara vows to build him a temple with the precious stones Siddhartha couldn’t accept from him upon his return from his trials. When they arrive at the forest, Dhepa is in ascetic trial heaven, seeing many others torturing themselves to enlightenment. Siddhartha then runs into the ascetics who had tested him during his stay atop his tower and noticed one wasn’t present, realizing he had not made it through an ordeal. They also saved some spots for them in case they wanted to start in a certain area, but before beginning, Siddhartha asks Assaji if he will survive through these trials and the answer he gives surprises him.

Siddhartha meets a girl who informs him of the usual time the monks bathe, whilst he’s bathing, making it difficult to come back to shore to dry off. She then shares where she lives and how she knows all the monks who go there so he shouldn’t feel embarrassed. Siddhartha takes her advice and she gives him bug repellent before leaving him. Siddhartha then goes to a village nearby the forest and learns they give to the ascetics, also learning of a house on a hill which doesn’t participate in charity for being pariahs. Siddhartha goes to investigate despite an acetic’s words to stay away and is noticed by another monk before meeting any of the occupants.

They go back to the forest and Siddhartha begins, putting on the repellent and during his meditation, notices large predators are gathering around him rather than bugs. When they retreat, Siddhartha tries to stop breathing and is awakened by Dhepa, giving support to his efforts, also needing to remind Siddhartha of why they do trials in the first place. Then he tries the idea of becoming a tree, stop smelling like a human, so animals wouldn’t bother him and to stop breathing. Then Tatta comes to end the ordeal and to eat something, going so far as to barbecue some meat, but Siddhartha sticks to his resolve and Tatta goes home to care for Migaila, who’s sick after giving birth and not even getting any good results from it. Then we are taken back to the woods where Sujata, the girl asks after Siddhartha and discovers he’s still going through a trial and after being told to let him be, still checks and is shocked by his condition. Thinking he’s died, she goes back to notify Dhepa and he confirms the opposite, requesting her again to let him go through his trial in peace. When she doesn’t and goes so far as to bring him home with her, she’s told by her father she must put him back where she found him, even though she reminds him he taught her to help those in need.

Her father, meanwhile decides to focus on going off with some other locals to deal with the pariah and Sujata takes Siddhartha to a shed to nurse him, reviving him, but in the end he still deciding to go back to the forest to finish his trial, even though he’s ruined his first for being fed. We then see the locals going to the house on the hill and we see it’s Tatta and Magaila who are the occupants. When Tatta tries to defend himself from them with rocks and it escalates to him using a sword on one of the group, which in turn makes them decide to go to the lengths of burning the house down for saying the occupant must be a devil. They bring Tatta to the shed which Siddhartha was brought to, and he’s surprised to see Tatta in his condition. After hesitating to disclose to Siddhartha of his breaking his side of their deal, he relents so he could hopefully help him get loose to protect Magaila, still in the shack on the hill. Tatta gets there in time to get Magaila out, but the house was still burning. Then we see Siddhartha back in the woods and Dhepa berating him for not sticking with the trial and giving in to eating the soup he was given. Siddhartha tries to show how there are plenty of other ways one can suffer in life, pointing out Assaji’s situation for one example.

Then another ascetic expresses of the pariah who’s moved into the forest in a cave and Siddhartha goes to speak with him, with Dhepa warning of his dangerous nature. When Siddhartha locates Tatta and he insists on seeing Magaila who is still sick, he is surprised to see her condition and then, the next scene we see is of Tatta hunting and a group of the locals are back to flush out the pariah, not doing it sooner for Siddhartha’s obvious nobility, but coming to the end of their patience. When the townspeople come to drive Tatta, the pariah out of the woods and is eventually supported by Dhepa, Siddhartha must convince them Tatta and his wife, Migaila are going through one of the most serious trials, regardless of doing it by choice, like the ascetics were, which was Dhepa’s position for one to be in the woods at all and the townspeople try to get him to move on solely because he wasn’t like them. Siddhartha goes to Tatta to update him of what was happening and Migaila began to suggest Tatta killing her being the easiest way to relieve all’s burden, letting them leave and he not being stuck caring for her, which of course, he denied and vowed to help her get well, even though she told him she didn’t seem to be getting any better. After leaving some medicine for Tatta to apply to Migaila’s skin disease, Siddhartha spots Assaji in the woods nearby marking trees for each day they stayed in the forest. After talking about whether Assaji was afraid to die and then determining vaguely how he, Siddhartha would die, he asks if Migaila will survive and discovers he must help her the same way he helped Assaji when he was about to die. When he reflects for courage for what he must do, he goes back to the cave and begins the process, Tatta thinking the lengths he was taking weren’t necessary. By the end of the chapter, Siddhartha and Tatta take turns in the process of ridding Migaila of the poisons in her body, making her feel better, but guilty for having them do what they must to her body, which wasn’t in an attractive state.

After leaving them, Dhepa confronts Siddhartha as to where he’s been going, thinking he’s going to town, which of course Siddhartha denies, but later in the evening when he goes off into the forest again, Dhepa follows to observe. When he sees Siddhartha has been going to the cave, but misunderstands what he’s doing there, Tatta defends him almost to Dhepa’s death, but Siddhartha stops him, even though Dhepa still won’t listen to reason. Tatta is ready to fight Dhepa over his narrow view of pariahs, but Siddhartha reminds Tatta of his wife, who’s too sick to handle the stress and stands down, agreeing to leave, but also changing the agreement he had with Siddhartha, wanting to be his first disciple after he finished his training to his standards. Dhepa meanwhile, decides Siddhartha must repent for his “sinful” acts to Migaila and so begins his punishment. Dhepa begins confiding Siddhartha he’d be better off dying to cleanse his soul and Siddhartha can’t believe and won’t succumb to his giving up on his “treatment”, pleading to be let out of his torture. Assaji helps him at last and Siddhartha thinks it would be better to train with him over Dhepa, who’s beliefs have strayed so far from his own. Siddhartha learns how Assaji has lived and his sleeping quarters seem to suit only for a small body, fortunately for Siddhartha, after falling, Assaji had the sense to make it easy to have a safe landing. Siddhartha soon engages Assaji on how to ignore imminent death, comparing other species tactics. The chapter ends with Siddhartha contemplating those thoughts and the next begins six years passing in the Uruvela forest.

Sujata comes to the forest to have her fortune told by Assaji like many other townspeople and discovers she will have her love but for a day, because the next day he will be unlike any other human. After, Assaji shares with Siddhartha how he will die and Siddhartha must look after his body after Assaji’s death. Then it skips back to Sujata and her father, who is trying to figure out who she’s love-sick for. Eventually he guesses who the culprit is and we are left seeing her yearn to be with him. We go back to Siddhartha and Assaji in the forest and the happenings of Assaji’s last night on Earth. Siddhartha falls asleep on his watch to make sure Assaji didn’t come to harm in the night and when he awakes Assaji has disappeared. Siddhartha takes off trying to detect his whereabouts, seeing him across a field and then realizes how he came to be eaten by animals, giving his life to save them from starvation. Siddhartha is understandably upset by the sight and runs back to the tree he spent the night with Assaji in, going back to the site of Assaji’s sacrifice to retrieve his bones, ending the chapter.

The next begins with Siddhartha seeming to continue his trials where he left off, beginning on the fire made for Assaji’s remains and ending with him in the street getting knocked about by some rocks thrown by villagers. Once he crawls to a place of death and awaits birds to peck at him, some other ascetics, who have followed him, ask him if he’d rather come back to the forest with them to finish his trials properly and how Dhepa would accept him back. Siddhartha goes off on them, confessing to them what they practice is nothing compared to what he’s seen Assaji do, deciding to continue alone and try to emulate Assaji’s selflessness. After training by himself for a bit, Siddhartha sees something happening with the ascetics, who are fighting with each other. He runs into Dhepa and discerns they’ve had a fight and he must choose a side, which Siddhartha refuses and vows to not have anything to do with the forest of trials thenceforth. He goes back to the place he first met Sujata and is surprised to meet her there again. Siddhartha talks of what his plans will be next and Sujata throws herself at him, wanting him to stay with her. He, of course, breaks her heart with his rejection and she runs back home. She soon leaves again the same night and when her parents follow her, they realize she’s met a terrible fate. Her father goes to find Siddhartha and inform him of what’s happened and how he blames him, but bidding him to come back to save her. After being told she’s passed on, Siddhartha tries to use his psychic powers like he had on the animals in his youth, even seeing Sujata for a moment before losing her to something he believed he shouldn’t be seeing. When he thinks he’ll be absorbed into it’s mesh, he then hears the old man he knew in his childhood, he revealing who he is and explaining where they are, also revealing to him what the universe is. After unveiling what he must do to attain enlightenment, he asks him how he can save Sujata and take a soul back with him. In the waking world, Sujata’s parents see her start to breathe again and her father is shocked to see Siddhartha was able to succeed, but realizing he was nowhere to be found, ending the chapter.

We see Siddhartha walking and coming to terms with what he’d seen and whether he believed it was real. Siddhartha decides to locate a tree to reminisce about his enlightening dream on such a beautiful day. He begins sharing his experience to the animals in the forest like they could understand him and upon finishing his tale, meditated until hearing the crickets. Then Dhepa notices him to share news which was given in the forest which involves Siddhartha about his kingdom falling under siege and not knowing the fates of his parents. Siddhartha ponders why Prasenajit would suddenly attack his realm when Dhepa revealed Prasenajit became violently furious to learn the humble beginnings of his queen. We then discover how it occurred, beginning with the King wanting to send his son to Kapilavastu for his education, due to being cheap and having capable teachers. His wife tries to dissuade him, but he insists and once the prince begins school, he is mysteriously a black sheep. The children reveal his common blood and he leaves for home to confront his mother, she concedes it’s truth and the boy wants to kill her, but his father stays his hand and blames the royals of Kapilavastu, leaving his wife out of the trouble. The prince still has her moved to the slave quarters and is mournful of it. They siege upon Kapilavastu on Siddhartha’s sixth year in the forest. His parents and wife stand trial and Prasenajit vows to have all of the Shakya tribe pay for their deceit. He decides to have the King executed and the families exiled out of the country and if anyone has a problem with it, the King swiftly kills them. Then his son requests the lives of the boys who tormented him in school, which is carried out. Meanwhile the royal family is imprisoned and Siddhartha senses Yashodara yearning for his aid and is torn between staying for his training and leaving to help them, ending the chapter with Siddhartha tormented by his position.

The next chapter begins with an event which happens about a year before what we ended on in the last. We see a man tear apart a beast in the water who turns out to be Yatala, the title of the chapter, and some men are deciding his fate because of Yatala’s actions. One man comes out saying he is the one who can succeed in the deed. We discover Yatala’s humble background whilst the warrior reveal where he comes from. We then ascertain Yatala having an uncommon upbringing due to his father being quite clever and teaching his son to be the same, also giving him a drug made up of herbs which would make him stronger than any whip or assault of any kind could damage him by adulthood. After having this conversation with his son, a man comes into their home, pointing a sword at his father and delivers an odd death to him and his wife, leaving Yatala with the warning he’d better not turn out like his father since he was letting him live. Yatala buries his parents and takes the medicine his father had given to him and then grew taller and stronger each year, but also losing his humanity. He runs into the beast whom dealt the deaths of his parents years later and bestowed his vengeance upon it, after which being driven out of Anga coming back once in awhile delivering death to whomever got in his way.

After the townspeople update the warrior to Yatala’s history, he cuts them short to determine where he is, his horse sensing danger well before he, threatening the beast to continue on, is found by Yatala. The warrior introduces himself and then shows him what his gun can do. Yatala is injured and then taken for dead by the warrior, he deciding to take a nap for some reason, but is woken up by Yatala giving as good as he had taken. Yatala continued to instill fear into anyone who saw even his footprints and only drew fearful reactions from those who would actually run into him. The townspeople would try repetitively to kill him and fail. Yatala travels some distance away after their latest experiment and we see a young royal traveling with entourage and being told of a demon whom was terrorizing the area and they should retreat, which only perks the boy’s interest and deciding he wants to stay the night, only to have his horse bristle with fear and they then meet Yatala. After laying out everyone in his group, he takes the Prince and tries to speak to him. Yatala tries to understand why the Prince isn’t afraid of him and he gets around to letting the Prince realize he’s his hostage. The Prince puts bribery on the table for his release, then offers him to be his wrestler for a tournament held in his kingdom each year, with all the luxuries it comes with, but before Yatala decides anything, it seems the Prince’s army has come to his rescue and leaves his offer as a way for Yatala to come out of the probable death which was walking towards him. Yatala faces the crowd and threatens he will kill the boy if they come after him; he gets arrows shot at him. Yatala threatens the Prince with them and the army asks what he wants in order to keep the Prince safe. Yatala explains who he is and what happened to his parents, hating the world and it’s class system. He declares he will fight until castes are eradicated, then the Prince shares his own background, but Yatala doesn’t believe him.

In the end, Yatala goes on good faith and lets the Prince go with a warning if he’s lied to him he won’t forgive him for it. The Prince still offers him a position in his employment and hopes to hear from him as he parts company with him. Once he’s back on his horse, he announces to the guard of his plans on taming the giant and expects to see him the next day, which Yatala fulfills. When Yatala goes inside he states to the Prince of being his servant rather than joining the Kosala guard, which was also an offer, but still maintaining he will not forgive the Prince if he betrays him. He gets fitted for his outfit and the Prince has already gotten comfortable giving out orders as to the conduct of when and where he’s to wear the mask he’s been given and where he will sleep, as well as staying out of the palace unless requested otherwise, after he goes to his “quarters” and sleeps. His father talks to the Prince about how the giant’s foot is making cracks on his wall for kicking it in his sleep and the Prince explains he’s hardly a concern with how much good they’ll get from training him. He relents, feeling bad for the boy’s unfortunate breeding and deals with the knocking of Yatala as he tries to go to sleep.

The next time we see Yatala he is training, after some time he takes a rest and sees a young woman gathering water from a well, ending up scaring her and trying to introduce himself with his mask askew on his face. He continues to try and calm her, noticing she’d been crying and soon her features hit him as being familiar and asks how her son could put her in slave quarters, revering his mother and putting mothers on a pedestal regardless of their class. He ends up wanting to mention to the Prince to let his mother out of the slave house, but she would rather him let it alone, leaving. The next time Yatala sees the Prince he’s as good as his word, bringing up seeing the Prince’s mother and expressing to him he didn’t forgive him for his conduct towards her after his explanation to why he’d put her there. The Prince considers Yatala’s display insolent and decides punishment is in order to teach him the lesson he deemed necessary.

Then we see the Prince’s mother in her quarters and Yatala is trying to give her some leftover food from a banquet he’d been to, she’s trying to get him to leave because what he’s doing is not allowed, of course and in the process he ends up spilling the food he’s trying to hand her through the bars, after which he’s discovered and gets his head stuck, putting a hole through the wall, getting more lashes for his “crime”, the Prince scoffing at Yatala’s kindness to his mother. Soon they have the problem of the plague passing through the slave quarters and the Prince needing to decide to allow it to be burnt down, with the rest of the slaves in it. His father comes to him after hearing about his agreement and tries to reason with his son. The Prince still goes through with it, showing only slight regret and when Yatala sees the smoke from the fire, he goes to save the Prince’s mother. He runs to the outside of the castle and claims her as his “Mama”, the Prince following him, overhearing what he confesses of the fire to her and then reveals himself and what he’d done. The Prince then orders Yatala to take her somewhere far away to die and to come back to the castle. He takes her a long way off, but can’t leave her since she’s displaying signs of sickness, so he decides to keep going and take her to a doctor, but on the way she doesn’t make it and the Prince was following him, seeing him mourn his mother’s death.

After Yatala walks away, the Prince goes to where he’d buried her and mourns her death as well, finally displaying sadness, saying he hadn’t before because of being watched by his guards. Yatala meanwhile, is wishing for death so he can be close to “Mama” again. He walks a bit more and notices Siddhartha sitting under a tree and asks him why there are fortunate and unfortunate people. Siddhartha asks in return what Yatala’s story is. After being told he reports to Yatala how unfortunate the Prince sounded as well, not being able to show his affection for his mother all those years. Yatala then has the realization there aren’t any fortunate humans upsetting. After Siddhartha gives him hope, Yatala asks to become his disciple, but Siddhartha declines due to training still and Yatala announces he’ll wait forever if need be for when Siddhartha is ready to teach, which Siddhartha didn’t see as being in his future. When Yatala leaves, feeling better, back to Kosala, Siddhartha is soon shocked by the declarations he’d told him, not knowing where he’d come up with them or why he’d even spoken in the first place. After, the Brahma comes back to congratulate Siddhartha on his enlightenment. Siddhartha still doesn’t believe he’s able to teach anyone of what he’s learned, but the Brahma gives him a holy sign and proclaims he will from then on be called Buddha and the book ends on a bright light. A pretty interesting and entertaining volume. Until the next.