Buddha Jayanti (also known as Buddha Purnima because it is celebrated on the full moon) is the most sacred festival to Buddhists, marking Lord Buddha’s birthday, enlightenment and entrance into Nirvana. It is also known as Vesak (derived from the Sanskrit name for the month in which it falls – Vaisakha) in Sri Lanka and other Buddhist countries.
This year Buddha’s birthday is celebrated on May 2.
Till the time I read “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse I had known nothing about Buddha except for his name, nationality and the fact that his spiritual seeking had led him to the Truth and that is why there are lots of Buddhists nowadays who are seeking the same but, because of some reason, do not find it.
And the fact that Buddha has found the Truth inspired my respect to him.
I remember that when in the university we discussed the Buddha’s teaching. But from that seminar I grasped, frankly speaking, nothing except for the impression that nobody, including the teacher herself, completely understood what exactly Buddha had realized when he got the enlightenment.
We have recently watched the film “Little Buddha” with Keanu Reeves playing Buddha. In general, the film is quite dull but the scene of the Spirit’s fight with everything alien and the further enlightenment is very beautiful and attractive. There are three main ideas in the film:
– one should live like paying a stringed instrument: is one pulls the string tight or, vice versa, weak, there won’t be any good sound (one shouldn’t go to extremes);
– all the desires, conditionings, ego are not the true person; the only thing which is true in the man is his Spirit (from hear comes the need to fight with negative qualities);
– as soon as you learn your Spirit, you get fulfilled with love for everybody (as you see not the alien aliments in him/her but the Spirit which is always pure).
Buddha’s struggle with temptations
But we watched the film when the meaning of Buddha’s enlightenment had become clear to us:
“You have to see how He (Buddha) first felt that one has to seek something beyond life. He couldn’t understand how this misery has come and what is the need to have this misery. So He gave up his family, He gave up His luxuries of life – everything He gave up – and went in search of the Truth, as many of you have done. He would have been lost also I would say because He had read all those Upanishads, and He read all the books that were possible for Him to say what the Truth is. But He couldn’t get anything. He was a complete sanyasi in the sense that as far as the food is concerned, as far as the entertainment is concerned, everything He gave up, and ultimately the Adi Shakti gave Him Realisation because He was so true, and was one of the ones marked for a special place in the Virata. He had to achieve that. Of course I need not tell you about His previous lives; perhaps in so many of My lectures I have already talked about it – what was His previous life and how He achieved His own enlightenment about Himself. But what we have to see about His life is that He discovered and found out that want is the reason of all the myths. But He didn’t know what was the real Want, what was the pure Want, what was the pure Desire, and that’s how He could not explain to people…” (Shri Mataji, U.K., May 31, 1992).
Thought for the day: “All the creatures are longing for happiness. Thus treat everybody with compassion” (Buddha).