The Enlightened One
“The root of suffering is attachment.”
“Attachment is caused by desires and fears.”
“You have no fear if your mind is not filled with needs and wants.”
“Like mirages or cities of gandharvas, illusions and dreams, all characteristics you entertain are empty of essence. Know all phenomena are this way.”
The Buddha (aka Shakyamuni, or Siddhartha Gautama), who lived 2,600 years ago near the border of India and Nepal, is considered the greatest philosopher, the founder of ‘Buddhism’ – not as a religion, but as a philosophy, a practical method for ending suffering and following bliss, a way to peaceful life and therefore peaceful death, an art of living & dying.
Above all, he is revered as the Enlightened One.
‘Buddha’ is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘a person who is awake.’ Generally, when someone says the Buddha, it refers to Siddhartha Gautama – the embodiment of Buddhism, Wisdom and Compassion; when a person is called ‘Buddha’, it indicates that the person has realized the nature of mind.
Gautama Buddha was born as the crown prince of the great Shakya Kingdom around 6th to 4th B.C.E., but he renounced a life of luxury at the age of 29 and set out to search for the truth – the cause of suffering in life and the way to end all suffering.
After a long search he went into a deep meditation, sitting beneath a ficus tree in Bodhgaya, India, where he eventually realized the innermost true nature of mind and attained the state of unfluctuating bliss: the state of unconditional joy. In that state, you are no longer bound by thoughts and emotions, ideas and concepts, time and space … You become an all-pervading, all-seeing, all-knowing awareness, where you are everything and everything is you.
The path to that peaceful state, as the Buddha has discovered, is through mental discipline – the practice of meditation. The Buddha realized that our continuous struggle to find answers wouldn’t work. It is only when there are gaps in our mental activities that insights come to us. Only in the absence of struggle, we realize a luminous clarity within us. Meditation is ‘letting be,’ a step beyond ‘letting go.’
After attaining liberation, the Buddha traveled on foot and for the rest of his life he taught anyone who came to him with the quest for enlightenment – the end of suffering.
“The realms of existence are like clouds in autumn, the birth and the death are like a dancer’s movement. A person’s life is like waterfall, or a flash of lightning in the sky – it never stops even for a single moment, and once it starts, it goes inevitably to its conclusion.”
“Irrigators channel waters, fletchers straighten arrows, carpenters shape wood, while the wise master themselves.”
“Apply yourself to solitude. One who is given to solitude knows things as they really are.”
“If you are constantly carried away by the swift currents and torrents of the river, how can you help others cross.”
~ Gautama Buddha ~
~ My Prayers ~
I pray that I will have a steadfast connection with the Wisdom Mind of The Buddha anytime, anywhere, under any circumstances.
I pray that I will no longer be wrapped up in an egocentric existence, that my life will no longer be made up of incessant struggle to cherish and protect the self, that I will no longer be burdened with the weight of worries over inconsequential matters.
I pray that I will no longer cling to life’s comfort and pleasure or dread discomfort and pain. I pray that my life will no longer be driven by endless needs and wants, likes and dislikes, desires and fears …
I pray that the seed of compassion in me will grow to be the essential force of my life, rendering me unflinching confidence, magnanimous forbearance, and inexhaustible energy.
And I pray that I will have the capability to communicate the Buddha’s wisdom and compassion, sharing insight and delight with others.
Thank you Shakyamuni Gautama Buddha, for the profound teachings and blessings, for the faith and devotion inspired in me, for the kindness and timeless wisdom.