The story starts with a boy named Gautama (sixth or fifth century BC), who grew up as prince in a palace. Shortly after his birth, a seer predicted the boy would become a great spiritual leader. Gautama’s father, King Suddhodana, realized this meant his son would become a hermit and end his royal line. In an attempt to avoid this fate, Suddhodana set out to shield his son from all the suffering in the world, so he would see no need to turn to a religious life. He gave him all the delights the world had to offer to ensure he would never think of leaving the palace. Once older, his father made sure to surround him with beautiful women of pleasure who sang, danced, and played music, and arranged for him a beautiful bride, with whom he had a son.