Buddham Sharanam Gacchaami
Did you know that:
The Full Moon Day of the month of Vaishaakha (May) is the:
- The Birthday of Gautama Buddha
- The Renunciation day of Gautama Buddha
- The Enlightenment day (Nirvaana) day of Gautama Buddha.
Buddha was born near Kapilavastu in Nepalese Terai.
Buddhists associate Mansarovar with the legendary Anotatta Lake, where Buddha’s mother, Queen Maya, conceived him. Legend says that the Queen, while in a dream state, was transported to Mansarovar by the Gods and bathed in the lake’s holy waters. When her body was purified and her womb thus ready to receive Buddha, he appeared from the direction of Kailash riding a white elephant.
Above paragraph information from:
At his birth-site stands an engraved pillar, erected by Ashoka proclaiming: ‘Here the Buddha was born!’ Here Siddhartha lived a life of luxury up to the age of 29 years. After the young prince witnessed ‘old age’, ‘sickness’ and ‘death’, the future Buddha renounced his princely life in search of the key to ‘freedom from sorrow’.
After 7 years of severe austerities, Buddha went into a state of deep meditation and attained ‘Nirvaana’ (Enlightenment) under the shade of a peepal tree in Bodh Gaya, 6 miles south of Gaya in Bihar.
‘Budh’ means ‘knowledge’
Buddha attained Supreme Nirvaana in his 80th year after spreading his wondrous message to so many. When Buddha was asked if he was enlightened, he replied: “I am awake”
Vivekananda considered Buddha to be a great seeker, probably the ‘greatest’
Though Buddha was fearless and bent to neither caste nor traditions, he was extremely kind and loving.
Today, on the full moon day of the month of Vaisaakha, let us pay homage to the man who taught humanity to follow the ‘Middle Path’ (Not too much austerity, not too much indulgence)
Who expounded the theory that Desire is the root of all suffering.
And who preached and urged man to practice compassion and to have love in their hearts for their fellow beings on earth. Probably some of the qualities that one must aspire for in excess.
Before the rise of Kalki, Buddha is considered the 10th or final avatar of the Dashavtaar.
The Four Noble Truths that the Great Buddha pondered upon are:
1 The existence of suffering.
2 The causes of suffering
3 The cessation of suffering
4 The path that leads to the cessation of suffering – this is known as the Noble Eightfold Path and is divided into Shila – moral discipline comprising of Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, then Samatha or developing Mental Discipline by meditation. It is made up of Right Effort, Right Right Awareness and Right Concentration. Finally there is prajna or wisdom that comprises Right View and Right Thought.
There are three dimensions ordinarily available to approach truth.
The first dimension creates the scientist…the scientist works with analysis, reason, observation…
The second dimension, …the poet functions through the heart…the Sufis Bauls-they all have an aesthetic approach…hence they have so many beautiful mosques, churches, cathedrals, temples…
(M L Varadpande also states that Indian tradition considers all art to be of divine origin. Art is spiritual in nature and is a blissful way of reaching and staying with God)
The third approach is that of grandeur. The old testament prophets – Moses Abraham Islam’s prophet Mohammed; Krishna and Ram – their approach is through the dimension of grandeur…the awe that one feels looking at the vastness of the universe. The Upanishads, Vedas, they all approach the world of truth through grandeur. They are full of wonder. It is unbelievably there, such grandeur that you simply bow down before it—nothing else is possible…the rarity of a Buddha consists of this—that his approach is a synthesis of all the three and beyond the three.
No belief is required to travel with Buddha…first he convinces your mind…by and by you start feeling that he has a message which is beyond mind…Because of this rational approach he never brings any concept which cannot be proved…Because he has never talked about God, many think that he is an atheist—he is not. He has not talked about God because there is no way to talk about God.
Excerpted from Dhammapada
A note from Ms Vimla Patil
5th May 2009
Emperor Ashoka, who is recognized as one of the greatest rulers of the world in mankind’s history, after the battle of Kalinga, rued the genocide so much that he accepted Buddhism and spread it to the whole of India, Sri Lanka, China, Japan and all over the East. His Dhauli inscription near the site ofthe great Kalinga war field is treasured even today in archeological treasures. It points a four way path to Nirvana
1. Love and respect your elder as your guides, especially parents
2. Love all elders because they built your world for you
3 Love all living being because they share the world with you
4 Love all plants and trees because they are the real givers of life.
These rules apply even today, 2500 years after the Buddha’s lifetime!
I had included the Dhauli inscription in my script for the Khandgiri Udaygiri Caves Sound and Light Show which is held in the caves near the Dhauli inscription. Dhauli is near Bhubaneshwar in Orissa, Kalinga of ancient India. You can search for it on the net. It is one of Ashoka’s great stone inscription. Ashoka is credited with making Buddhism a world religion from a local cult. He sent his daughter Sanghamitra and son to many countries with branches of the Bo tree under which the Buddha attained Nirvana to preach and spread Buddhism.