Gautam Buddha said, “I know you have the right to be present with me wherever I go, but you can understand, you have that much intelligence: the woman I loved twelve years ago and left without even telling her that I was going away – obviously she must be very angry. She is from another royal family. In front of you, she will not show her anger; that would be against manners, etiquette. I would like to unburden her of all her anger, rage. But it is up to you. I am asking you if you can remain a little behind – just outside the door of the palace. Let me see my wife…”
There was a moment of silence but Ananda understood the situation and allowed Gautam Buddha. And he was right, the wife was very angry….
She said, “My anger is not that you renounced the world. If you wanted to renounce it, I would never have prevented you. My anger is that you did not trust me. You did not say a single word and in the middle of the night you escaped. That has been hurting me. Just as you belong to a warrior race, I am also the daughter of a great warrior. We send our husbands to war with prayers, with garlands, touching their feet, not allowing even a tear to come in the eyes because that may prevent them, may be destructive to their lifestyle and their life pattern.
“If you had said to me that you wanted to renounce the world in search of truth, I would have been dignified. You disrespected me. You damaged my dignity. My anger is not that you left; my anger is that you did not tell me why.”
Buddha himself had never thought about it, that the cause of anger would be of not saying to his wife…
And the wife said, “If you had loved me enough you would have trusted me. I would have sent you with prayers in my heart that you should succeed and be victorious in your search, but you did not allow me the chance.”
Gautam Buddha said, “You are right. I have come to ask your forgiveness. Forgive me! What I used to think was love was not love. Now I know what love is. But I wanted to wait until you have unburdened the rage you must have accumulated in all those twelve years, day and night, in your loneliness.”
The wife looked at Gautam Buddha with tears in her eyes because she could see that this was not the same man who had left her. He looked the same, but everything had changed: such silence, such presence, such eyes and so much compassion.
She said, “Before I ask to be initiated also – if I cannot be your wife at least let me be your disciple – your son has been waiting for twelve years and I have been telling him, ‘Wait. Some day he will come back.’ And you have come, but you have come so transformed – so luminous is your being.”
And the son was standing just by her side. She pulled the son in front of Gautam Buddha and said, “Ask your father for your heritage. He has given birth to you – what else has he to fulfill…his responsibilities towards you?”
The son asked him and Gautam Buddha said, “I have your heritage.” And he gave him his begging bowl and initiated him into sannyas. He said, “There is nothing which is more valuable. I was waiting for this moment, when I would be really capable of loving you. But my love is now so far away from the love that people talk about that I cannot even use the word. I use the word compassion. I take you both into my compassion. I have nothing else to give, but I am giving you my very heart and my very experience.”