The Purohita and the minister, their words and discourse prevailing nothing, conversed together, after which, resolving to depart on their return, with great respect they quietly inform the prince, not daring to intrude their presence on him further; and yet regarding the king’s commands, not willing to return with unbecoming haste. They loitered quietly along the way, and whomsoever they encountered, selecting those who seemed like wise men, they interchanged such thoughts as move the learned, hiding their true position, as men of title; then passing on, they speeded on their way.
[Footnote 97: That is, raising his nose to look up at the sun.]
[Footnote 98: This description of the prince’s hair seems to contradict the head arrangement of the figures of Buddha, unless the curls denote the shaven head of the recluse.]
Bimbisara Raga Invites the Prince
The royal prince, departing from the court-master (i.e. the Purohita) and the great minister, Saddharma, keeping along the stream, then crossing the Ganges, he took the road towards the Vulture Peak, hidden among the five mountains, standing alone a lovely peak as a roof amid the others. The trees and shrubs and flowers in bloom, the flowing fountains, and the cooling rills; all these he gazed upon—then passing on, he entered the city of the five peaks, calm and peaceful, as one come down from heaven. The country folk, seeing the royal prince, his comeliness and his excessive grace, though young in years, yet glorious in his person, incomparable as the appearance of a great master, seeing him thus, strange thoughts affected them, as if they gazed upon the banner of Isvara. They stayed the foot, who passed athwart the path; those hastened on, who were behind; those going before, turned back their heads and gazed with earnest, wistful look. The marks and distinguishing