48. KING AJATASATTU COMING OUT TO PAY HIS RESPECTS
TO THE BUDDHA AND HIS DISCIPLES
After the death of his father, King Bimbisara, King Ajatasattu could not sleep well and used to wake up with a start. He wanted to go to the Buddha so as to get some mental relief, but he dared not go because he had done the most heinous act of parricide. On the night of the full noon day in the month of Tazaungmon (November) he murmured in the presence of his courtiers as follows: "Whom shall I approach on such a pleasant night in order to have a clear and peaceful mind?"
The courtiers made several suggestions to him but he did not accept any of them. He took the suggestion of the Physician Jivaka, and left the city with a procession of five hundred female elephants, fully bedecked and caparisoned, and mounted by five hundred women disguised in the dress of soldiers; and accompanied by torch-bearers to show the way. When he arrived at the Mango Park of Jivaka, he saw the Blessed One and over one thousand holy monks so quiet and peaceful that the sight at once filled his mind with peace and hope.