The path in the Himalaya
Yesterday afternoon I returned from Yogyakarta, where there are famous Buddhist and Hindu sites.
Today it's a national holiday in Indonesia as we celebrate the birth of Buddha so I cannot think of a more appropriate subject to write on.
This year I travelled extensively in the Himalayas and was so often reminded of one of Buddha Shakyamuni's sayings:
" How long is the road to the weary. How long is the wandering of the fool who cannot find the path."
To a wayfarer like me who has been to Lumbini where he was born, and Buddhagaya where he found enlightenment, I find his teachings inspirational. Over the years I have been to Dharamsala a number of times to hear the Dalai Lama give teachings.
strong>A statue of Budha taken at Borobudar near Yogyakarta
Borobudar, a Budhist site near Yogyakarta
The Birth of the Bodhisatta.
On a full-moon day in the month of May (Visakha) 2600 years ago was born a Prince named Siddhattha. His birth took place at Lumbini (modern Rumindei in Nepal), where his mother Mahamaya, the chief queen consort of King Suddhodana of Kapilavatthu, rested with her royal retinue, on her way to her parental home in Devadaha. In the picture Queen Mahamaya stands under a flowering sala tree holding on to one of its branches.
Discarding both extremes of luxurious living and self mortification, the Bodhisatta Prince chooses the Middle Path of moderation based on the practice of virtue (sila), concentration of the mind (samadhi), and the intensive analysis of all psycho-physical phenomena that finally leads to full understanding of things as they really are (panna). Seated under the Bodhi-tree at Buddhagaya he attains Samma Smabodhi and becomes the Supreme Buddha.
This year when I was walking in the Himalaya with by long time friend Richy Ram who is a Hindu but has a full understanding of Buddhism, I told him "I wanted to go to Dharamsala in a few days time to hear the Dalia Lama give some teachings on Buddha." He replied wisely, "there is no need for you to go to hear the Dalai Lama, because he will tell you that God is within you. " He continued, " keep walking on the path and see God's creation, it is within you and outside of you."
Up until that moment I think I was the fool who could not find the path.
How long is the road to the weary. How long is the wandering of the fool who cannot find the path.