The Prince, who had lost his mother so soon after his birth, was deeply affected by the tragedy of these little creatures. This spiritual, wound deepened as day goes by; like a little scar on a young tree, the phenomenon in worldly existence became more and more deeply engulfed in his mind. The King was increasingly worried as he recalled the hermit's prophecy and tried in every possible way to cheer the Prince and to turn his thoughts in other directions. The King arranged the marriage of the Prince at the age of nineteen to the Princess Yashodhara. She was the daughter of Suprabuddha, the Lord of Devadaha Castle and a brother of the late Queen Maya.
For ten years, in the different Pavilions of Spring, autumn and the rainy Season, the Prince was immersed in rounds of music, dancing and pleasure, but always his thoughts returned to the problem of suffering as he pensively tried to understand the true meaning of human life. "The luxuries of the palace, this healthy body, this rejoicing youth! What do they mean to me?" he thought. "A man struggling for existence will naturally look for something of value. These pride of youth, pride of health, pride of existence only veiled me from recognizing that there is no escape from sickness, old age and death. In my life of pleasures I seem to be living in falsehood."
Thus the spiritual struggle went on in the mind of Prince Siddhartha... until his only child, Rahula was born when he was 29. This seemed to bring things to a turning point, for he then decided to leave the palace and look for the solution of his spiritual unrest in the homeless life of a mendicant. He left the castle one night with only his charioteer, Chandaka, and his favorite horse, the snow-white Kanthaka. His departure was silent because earth spirits supported the horse hooves so their sound would not awaken the palace guards. The Prince first visited the hermit Bhagava and watched his ascetic practices. He then went to Arada Kalama and Udraka Ramaputra to learn their methods of attaining Enlightenment through meditation; but after practicing them for a time he became convinced that they would not lead him to Enlightenment. Finally he went to the land of Magadha and practiced asceticism in the forest of Uruvilva on the banks of the Nairanjana River, which flows by the Gaya Village.