You can be a Buddha

From Pratiksha Apurv's desk Media Watch

Godliness is within all of us, so also the potential to see it, but we simply are not aware of it, writes Pratiksha Apurv. Published in Speaking Tree on August 25, 2019.

The word ‘awakening’ in our spiritual lexicon means ‘to arrive at one’s Buddhahood’. Though in the English dictionary it connotes activation or waking up from sleep, it becomes very profound and significant when we relate it to the Buddha. A man not stirred up from inside, goes on living without realising the bliss within.

Possibility by Pratiksha
Possibility, Oil on Canvas, 24″x24″, 2005

Awakening is the situation when a Buddha is born. And this awakening is not about outside knowledge, but about the wisdom which is asleep, buried deep within all of us. Every person is born with the potential to realise this wisdom, to be in Buddhahood. To enable this journey, existence provides us with the possibilities for ultimate transcendence, but throughout our life, we go round and round because we are enslaved and conditioned to logic, and living an arithmetic life. Only when we stop chasing outside knowledge, and when there is nothing worth exploring outside, there is a possibility of meeting within ourselves. And at that moment, there is no object and no subject, because both have melted and become one.

We can call it enlightenment, awakening or Nirvana. Just as the very ordinary contains the extraordinary in it, everyone is a born meditator.

A very delicate consciousness is always there waiting to be activated. It gets activated automatically under very ordinary circumstances, like when we see a beautiful flower dancing in the wind or hear a bird singing in the morning. They stir something within us, a momentary experience of bliss, but that just remains momentary as we are suddenly pulled back into our mundane world. What if that moment of bliss lasted forever? Now that would be the moment of awakening! There is no cloud of logic and calculation in the sky of our consciousness, but there is absolute bliss of meditativeness. We need to acknowledge this alchemy of possibility, and when it happens, it can transform our life completely.

I have tried to depict this phenomenon in the painting ‘Possibility’, in which ordinary plants are jostling with each other to survive. And, there is also the beauty of a rare flower amidst them, which is trying to outgrow others as if it had found the extraordinary in that ordinary circumstance. A seeker’s heart, on viewing the painting, will not miss the message that something beautiful is flowering inside, and to which we just need to open our heart and melt in silence. The seed is hidden inside of us; it may not be visible because of our fast-paced life. It will flower, sing and dance only if we are ready to usher in our own Buddhahood.

In the Bhagwad Gita, Krishna says to Arjuna: “Yunjannevam sadatmanam yogi niyatamanasah, santim nirvanaparamam matsamsthamadhigachti – The seeker with a calm mind, united with the self within, attains the peace living in me, finally ends in Nirvana, which is the state of realisation.”

I often hear people say that life is very miserable, and they want to destroy misery. True, nobody wants to be miserable, but to avoid misery, it requires taming the tricky mind. It goes on desiring, planning, attaining, and then again the same circle goes on throughout our lives. The mind never allows contentment or a moment of reflection within ourselves to search bliss. In this process we miss the incredibly beautiful existence. We miss the possibility of enjoying the peacock’s dance and the cuckoo’s song. According to the Katha Upanishad: “Anoraniyanmahato mahiya, natamasya jantornihito guhayam, tamakratuh pasyati vitasoko, dhatuprasadan mahimanamatmanah – Our Self is subtler than subtle, hidden in all living beings. The one who is free from desires can see the stunning beauty of the Self and becomes free from misery.”

I have often heard Osho say that we are all born with the potential to be enlightened at any moment, but because we are so accustomed to living in the future, we keep missing what is so near and close. He says: “The seeing depends on your penetrating eyes. And you don’t have any penetrating eyes. Otherwise, the beginning is always there, the seed is always there, you could have looked into it. You can penetrate the beginning right now, because here it is. If you look to the future and wait for the meaning to be revealed somewhere, then sooner or later you will feel life is meaningless.”

The Buddha is within all of us, godliness is within all of us, so also the potential to see it, but we simply are not aware of it. When I say this, I want to make it clear that godliness is the very essential core of our being and it is not something that is going to happen in the future, but is already present within us at this very moment. We have to recognise the source and look within ourselves.

As Kabir says: “Atam anubhav sej sukh, tahan naa dujaa jaye – The inner experience, the penetration within is the only possible way for meeting God.” The seed is there and it can bloom any moment. We just need to make a little effort to grasp our potential; we need to help the seed to grow roots. The very effort is going to reveal the transcendental, the absolute, hidden within all of us.

Quote by Osho from Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing, Ch 4

Pratiksha Apurv

Pratiksha Apurv is a painter and writer. She lives and works in Pune.

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