|From the Buddha|
The Buddha and his disciples were walking along when they came to a river. The water was too deep for many people to wade across. ‘It’s less than neck-deep,’ Buddha said. ‘We can manage.’ It is then that they saw a young woman waiting helplessly on the bank. She was too scared to wade across. Could they help her?
‘Can you sit on my shoulders? I’ll take you across.’
She was more than happy. She had to get across one way or another.
They crossed the river with the young woman on Buddha’s shoulders. Nobody uttered a word. Was there a feeling in the air that something repugnant was being carried out?
The woman thanked Buddha as he left her on the other bank and went her way. The Buddha and the disciples continued to walk in silence. Something didn’t sound quite right. There was no sound, of course. Silence can be ominous sometimes.
Finally one of the young disciples broke that silence. ‘Master, was it right for you to carry that woman on your shoulders?’
Buddha looked at that disciple. The look had a lot of meaning. The disciples were used to such looks. They were more powerful than words. Sometimes words were not required after such looks.
Buddha spoke, however. ‘I left her on the bank of the river. You’re still carrying her?”
What we carry in our minds is our choice. What we carry in our minds determines our attitudes and emotions. These attitudes and emotions forge our character. If only we carried the right thoughts, the entire reality would be so very different.
Our reality is our creation too. The Buddha keeps re-creating his reality. That process is called enlightenment.
PS. The story of Buddha is not my creation. I read it somewhere many years ago. I remembered it a few minutes back as I lay in bed feeling terribly unwell with an unusual body ache. The head was splitting too. Then Buddha appeared in my consciousness. ‘Heal yourself,’ he said. I willed myself to feel better. The aches haven’t disappeared. But I abandoned the plan to drop today’s post. Now there’s a strange feeling within me that I’m sitting on the Buddha’s shoulders.