Friday, 7 August 2020

We the Lesser Buddhas

Updated: May 1, 2010 2:04 pm

Buddha has a deeper meaning. It means a person, any person who has completely awakened from ignorance and opened up to his or her vast potential wisdom. Buddha was a human being like you and me. He never claimed divinity, he merely knew he had the Buddha nature, the seed of enlightenment. The way of the Buddha is the path of enlightenment through self-enlightenment through self-knowledge, knowledge of every aspect of the self, what the self is, what the self is not.

            The Buddha nature is the birthright of every sentient being. Our Buddha nature is as good as any Buddha’s Buddha nature. Even   though we have the same nature as Buddha who have not recognised it because it is wrapped up and enclosed   in our ordinary individual minds. The space inside and outside an empty vase is the same. When one is enlightened the vase shatters into pieces. The fragile wall separating   inside from outside ceases to exist. The inside space merges in outside space. They become one. Then we realise they were never different but one and the same! Engaging oneself in perpetual mindfulness and becoming faithful to oneself is nothing but transmutation to bodhi.

            I am the Buddha

            I come quietly

            And from the ashes of former self

            The phoenix of true self rises

Many among the human race have such a momentum of self-deception that it has become an entrenched defense mechanism of the unreal self. And that self has convinced the soul that in order to survive and to be successful in the world, it must lie continually. Perpetrating deception is most damaging because it damages real self. If you love truth, be willing to challenge unreality. Cultivate discernment and then you will perceive clearly what is true and what is not. This can be achieved by transcending the ego and be unattached to mockery or praise, pleasure or pain, poverty or riches, adulation or indignation, and being indifferent to gratitude or ingratitude of mortals, indifferent to their cursing or garland of approbation. Ego is the imposter of the true nature. This bull’s unyielding nature can be subdued by moving from one’s self-centeredness.

            Buddha nature is the skyline nature of our mind. It is so pure that it is beyond the concept of purity and impurity. Buddhism aims at looking into the nature of mind and to free us from the fear of death. Spiritual truth is not something elaborate and esoteric; it is in fact profound common sense. The sky is our absolute nature which is boundless and absolute, the ground is our reality and relative. The meditative posture we take links the absolute and relative, sky and ground, heaven and earth like two wings of a bird, integrating sky-like deathless nature of mind and the ground of our transient mortal nature. To meditate is to make a complete break with how we normally operate. It is free from anxiety competition, ambition. Meditation is returning (bring mind) home, release and relax. Resting in the nature of mind means there is no effort, only wakefulness. A fundamental trust is present. There is nothing in particular to do. Meditation is not something that we do; it happens spontaneously. There is a link between the posture of body and attitude of mind. Mind and body are inter-related. Sit as if you are a mountain. Keep back straight like an arrow or a pile of gold coins. Sit legs crossed (need not be lotus posture). Eyes may be kept open. When mind is wild, gaze 45o downwards, if dull and sleepy bring gaze up by 45o or more. Meditation is not running away from the world by closing eyes. Let the eyes be open and at peace with everything. Forms and sounds occur but these are empty; thoughts do occur and these are empty too.

            Buddha is made of non-Buddha elements. It is like understanding has no separate existence. Understanding is made of non-understanding elements. We are humans made of non-human elements, we too are having non-Buddha elements but we are only lesser Buddha ( and its our responsibility to make a Buddha out of that).

By Sashibhusan Rath

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