The birth; the old age; the sickness and the death are the main four severe realities of life. Prince Gotama was the one who had understood those realities deeply, mostly after the sights of an old man walking with the help of a stick; a sick person; a dead body being carried away; and an ascetic. He then realized the uselessness of the worldly craze and unimportance of the everyday quest. He learnt that change is the rule of the today's living world. Moreover, whatever begins is sure to suffer decay-and-death. So, the attachment to a worldly object having temporary character is a stupidity and absolute craze; and any desire for the everyday achievement is nothing but chasing the vision in the worldly desert. Thus, being removed with the worldly quest and inspired by the ascetic quest for the never-ending pleasure it flashed across his mind to refuse the world and live the life of an ascetic.
Thus, in the midnight, which was the full moon-night of Asalha, he woke up and saw a female musician sleeping in a hideous position. Moreover, sickened with the worldly affairs he called Channa, his charioteer to keep his horse ready for a ride. He then entered his sleeping chamber to have the last sight of his wife and newly born babe, who were sleeping there.
He left the city on his horse Kanthaka with Channa hanging to its tail. It is said that the devas silent the sound of the horse’s hooves and neighing and opened the city gates for him to pass. Outside the city, he stopped for a while to have a last look at Kapilavatthu, where he had spent his princely life. Then he advanced further for thirty yojanas and crossed the river Anoma.
It is said that his horse jumped across the river just in one jump. On the other side of the river he took off all his ornaments and gave them to Channa. Then he cut off his hair and beard with his sword and flip them in the air. Sakka, however, take them from there and keep them in the Chulamani Chetiya in the Tavatimsa. Brahma Ghatikara then move down from the heavenly world to offer him the eight fundamentals necessary for an ascetic, which he accepted gladly.
Siddhattha then asked Channa and Kanthaka to go back to his father; but the latter could not bear the separation from his master and died on the spot at the same time.