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When I heard the story of Gautam Buddha, my question was always about his wife and son that he left behind…this write-up by Vikram Bhattacharya touches that part of the story.
He left her in the middle of the night, the night their son was
born. When she heard the news
she was devastated.
Yet, she did not complain but her
life lost all meaning. The only
reason for her to live now was
her son. She wanted him to grow
up to be a man that the world
would look up to.
Her friends and relatives came
around and asked her to forget
about the man who had left her
and start life again.
They asked her to marry again
but she refused. She was young
& beautiful & suitors queued up
outside her door, but she refused each one of them.
Then one fine day he came back!
He stood in front of her and she could hardly remember him as the man who had left her. “They call you the Buddha now?” she asked him gently.
“I hear they do,” he answered in
a calm fashion.
“What does it mean?” she further inquired.
“I think it means the enlightened one, a knower,” he informed.
She smiled and then a silence.
“I suppose we have both learned something. Your lessons O Buddha, will make the world richer in spirit, but my lesson will unfortunately remain largely unknown.”
she reflected deeply….
“And what lesson is that ? ”
The Buddha probed.
Her eyes sparkled with unshed tears, “That a courageous woman does not need anyone to complete her…..
She is complete on her own”
Pic above and below: The Jewish Children’s Camp at Elbert, CO where the course was held
Pic: In the background, the small log cabin where I stayed
Am just back from an intense, challenging and highly rejuvenating Vipassana retreat at the serene and idyllic Elbert, CO. Here is my experience…
Though one may conquer
a thousand times a thousand people in battle,
yet one indeed is the noblest victor
who conquers oneself.
Dhammapada 10.103 (Words of the Buddha)