Wednesday, March 30, 2016


During his reign as emperor of China, Emperor Wu of Liang (502–549 AD) embraced & promoted the golden age of Chinese Buddhism. He came to be seen as the Chinese counterpart of the Indian Buddhist Emperor Ashoka the Great.
Bodhidharma, the first Zen patriarch of China, came to visit Emperor Wu around 520 AD.
The emperor told Bodhidharma, " I have built numerous temples & given financial support to the monastic community. Please tell me how much merit will I get for these deeds?".

Bodhidharma replied, "None whatsoever.You have not done anything out of piety nor out of wanting to do good. Pretending to do good you only wanted to purchase merit, but remember that merit cannot be purchased."
Furious & perplexed, the emperor asked Bodhidharma, "Who are you to tell me such things? I demand to know, who are you?' 
Bodhidharma replied, "Your Majesty, I don't know."
What can be learnt from this great historical encounter?
'Know thyself & then be thyself'. 
Everyday we have people who do not know who they themselves are, telling others what to be or become.
Even those who know a little about themselves are caught in a state of confusion, trying to be someone else.
Who are we? 
We are nothing, but existence at play.
We are given a name, then a religion, then a country, then a race, then an official qualification, then a work title & finally a social title. In the end we will die to be relegated to the dustbin of existence, clueless about who we are.

We know we are nothing, and we will remain nothing. Everything is given to us by others. All that is given to us will one day be taken away from us.
So we create this delusional concept that we are something or someone, who is going to journey to some far away place, where we will be surrounded by sweet music, where angels dance for us & there rivers of alcohol flow. In paradise we will feast & dine on the most wonderful of foods & be attended to, by beautiful people who refuse us nothing whatsoever.
Somehow this ridiculous notion survives, & we ridiculously foolish humans, lap it up & swear by it. So we will go out there, maim, kill, destroy for our place in this so called 'paradise'.
Even as we know we are nothing, we believe so greatly in our puny intellect to analyze & discover the so called reason of our existence.
The birds, the flowers & the animals never ask this question nor do the seasons, the sea, & win. They bestow unconditionally their wonderful grace & sometimes their awesome fury upon us.
Who are you? 
Spiritually speaking shorn of all those props & labels, you are merely another nobody, just like me. Someone who is on a journey from birth to death in a body that is perishing slowly by the moment.
Let us just, live & let live. Find harmony & balance between us & our world. To celebrate life, among-st its splendid wonders & bounty, and to die happily.
If there is a paradise, heaven or a hell, it is here & now.

Be Happy. God Bless.