Updated: May 10
Buddha Poornima (Full moon) a day to contemplate and feel the life and teachings of Buddha. This day happens to be Buddha’s birthday, enlightenment day and the day he left his physical body.
“It is difficult to conquer oneself than to win a thousand battles. What you gain here is permanent. “
Buddha was born as prince Siddhartha in lumbini, Nepal around 500 years before Christ. (Buddha means the enlightened one. Siddhartha was his name) When he was around 29, he experienced realities of life that led him in quest of enquiry. He left the comforts of the luxurious palace life in search of truth, became a monk, studied, practiced austerities, Tapas, practiced yoga, carried on with enquiry, contemplation and eventually attained enlightenment. He was known as Buddha. After his enlightenment he was not inclined to teach, but compassion for the suffering humanity led him to share the wisdom. He travelled and started monasteries to enthuse millions of people into the path of contemplation. He worked for 20 hours a day till the age 80 when he left his physical body. His teachings and doctrines were later known as Buddhism.
What made him the Buddha? What did he teach? How is it applicable to us in our life? Are his teachings not outdated? Are they applicable to people involved in life or are they applicable to monks? Is it all myth and legend or is there some reality in the whole thing? All Valid questions. I will try to bring out all the above aspects in the podcast. (stay tuned)
I want to tell you a story from the life of Buddha.
The story of the Swan One day Siddhartha aged seven was playing with his friends in the courtyard of the palace. Suddenly a swan stuck by an arrow, bleeding fell from the sky. Apparently shot by someone. The moment Siddhartha saw this he was deeply moved. He didn’t lose a minute. He swung into action. He carried the swan, called his friends to bring necessary things to nurse the injured swan. Meanwhile he carefully removed the arrow and bandaged the swan. Gave her water and food. It was an amazing sight to see the maturity and love of this small boy. In the meantime, the one who shot the arrow, Devadutta aged thirteen (cousin of Siddhartha), came looking for the bird. He saw the swan in siddharthas hand and claimed that he hunted her and she rightfully belongs to him. He wanted to take the swan away and Siddhartha stoutly refused. Siddhartha was a gentle but a strong boy. Devadutta could not bully him. Also anyway, Siddhartha was the future prince too! But he argued that the swan should be given to him.
The news reached the king. He summoned both of them and understood what had happened. He asked them to give reasons to claim the swan. Devadutta argued that since he shot the swan, had the right to own her. Siddhartha gave a simple reason “One who saves life is greater than one who takes it away. One who loves is greater than one who hates.” That’s it! No more arguments. King gave the swan to Siddhartha. He nursed her and left her free the moment she recovered. This is Siddhartha, the future Buddha.
Let’s meditate on Buddha and Adi Shankara. Realize that our true nature Joy. We don't need reasons to be happy. "Joy is my nature. Smile is my birthright".