Buddha’s Bowl and the teaching from the Himalayas

Last updated on Apr 24, 2016

Posted on Oct 10, 2011

We had all but completed the Himalayan Dhyan Yatra. Any profound experience that we had hoped for had happened. But there was a “final” parting message from my journey that I was still waiting for.

We had roamed through the most energized of the places on the planet, our walks had broken us down physically, mentally and emotionally, our meditations had taken us off to so many directions and dimensions which will remain undescribable. All that had occured and was beautiful. But for me there was something missing. My yearning for the mountains and envy for the Yogis on the mountain that seemed tough yet abundant in life had increased manifold.

Buddhist Priest with the Begging Bowl_ Ceylon 1911.jpg

And then we got to hear Sadhguru’s parting message in Haridwar. In the end, he narrated a story from Gautama, the Buddha’s life which went like this:

Gautama had left his young wife and an infant son and ran away in the middle of the night like a thief. Eight years later, when everything about him had changed, he realized that he had a little obligation to take care of in the palace. So, he took his disciple Ananda and went.

When he reached the palace, his wife, who had suffered so much emotionally and socially, came out and shouted at him for his “cowardly” behavior that night 8 years ago and how he had ignored his duties. “What kind of sham spirituality are you talking of? You have no idea of what duties are! You are a hypocrite.” she said bitterly. Gautama replied “What you see of me now is not the same man who had left 8 years ago. The body may be same but everything else is changed. I am not your husband, nor am I his father anymore.”

She became more angry and held Rahul, their son, in front of Gautama and shouted back “For all your dereliction of duties, what legacy can you possibly give to your son?”

Gautama looked at Rahul and called for his disciple Ananda. Ananda came with his customary begging bowl towards his master. Gautama took his begging bowl and handed over to Rahul. “That, is my legacy to him.”

Our lives on this planet are shameful. We don’t even contribute much and yet we make the planet pay such a HIGH price for sustaining and nurturing our existence! We have ruined the rivers, the seas and oceans, the forests, the fertile lands and the air – to sustain a profoundly sick society and mankind.

When you see the yogis in the Himalayas living on bare minimum out of choice, they make a statement of an intelligence that is rare on this planet now. A statement that Gautama made when he handed over the begging bowl to his son, Rahul, as his legacy. Its a statement that says we need to borrow our existence from this Universe, not snatch it.

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