Jai Guru Dev!
Happy Vesak. What is Vesak? It is a Pali word for Vesākha or Buddha Poornima.
Buddha was born, he got enlightened and he died, all on the same day. It is called Vesak in Pali. That was the language of those times. Buddha spoke in that language.
If you noticed your day must have gone very calm, very serene. The day when somebody gets enlightened has the guna. That particular place of enlightenment is called a Teerth.
Because that place where the person gets enlightened is filled with the vibrations of that consciousness. Similarly, that particular day retains the memory of those vibrations. Because the person has united with the consciousness, that nothingness, that emptiness, it is retained.
It is a beautiful way that nature has devised, as a constant reminder to you that Maaya will take you away, Maaya will pull you. The vibrations of these few days in the year will help bring you back to the awareness that, Oh! I am lost in this Maaya.
30 years Buddha kept teaching and traveling. In those 30 years, Buddha passed through the village of this shopkeeper called Subhadra at least 30 times. The shopkeeper was always busy in Maaya. Too many things in the shop to do, too many customers, ‘I have to make money, I need to do this for the family.’ He was always lost and always had an excuse not to visit Buddha. He always had this in the back of his mind that ‘Oh Buddha is passing by and I should go meditate, ask questions’. But he always postponed. This kept happening.
When Buddha was just about to pass away, the news spread like fire. So when Subhadra heard this, he dropped everything in his shop and he went running and realized, ‘Oh my God! 30 years I have waited to ask this question, I didn’t know this would happen. I have to talk to Buddha’, and he kept running and running, thinking like this and running.
Now Buddha is just about to pass away and he asks his disciples, “Have I answered all your questions? I have been speaking for 42 years.” All the disciples said, “Yes”. Ananda who was his brother and his closest disciple also said “Yes”. Then Buddha asked his disciples, “Do you give me permission to move on now.?” And obviously, the disciples said, “Yes.”
So we have talked in the ‘3 states of consciousness’ discussion about what happens at Death. What happens? You go from the waking state to dreaming state, from dreaming state you go into the deep sleep state and from deep sleep you move towards the window of liberation, which is the Turiya avastha. If you are aware you can unite with the consciousness. This is the process at Death.
Buddha moved out of this physical body or the waking state of consciousness to the dreaming state of consciousness which is the subtle body. And then he moved from the subtle body and when he was just about to go to the deep sleep state or to the causal body, he heard Subhadra.
You remember at Death, when the body dies, which two senses remain? Sight and Sound. So in the subtle state or subtle body, you can still hear. He heard Subhadra. Subhadra was saying, “Oh no! I have to ask him this question, 30 years I have waited and I didn’t come.” All the disciples, especially Ananda said, “You are crazy, why didn’t you come before, now it’s too late.”
Buddha heard this in the dreaming subtle state of consciousness [subtle body] and came back into the waking state of consciousness [physical body]. He opened his eyes and said, “Let him come”. Subhadra came and asked him his questions.
What was Subhadra’s question? “I missed my chance to be in your presence, I am so unfortunate, but now that you are going, how can I always feel your presence?” Buddha then taught the technique of Vipassana.
He helped Subhadra understand how to focus on the Breath In and Breath Out. “When you keep observing, you will come to a point and realize, oh, I am not the breath, I am not the body, I am not the mind. The day you learn to disassociate from the body-mind complex, you and I are together there. That is the state where we both are ONE. You will always be with me.” Buddha taught him that technique and he moved on.
It doesn’t matter, what or how the master is, it is the thirst of the disciple, that can pull a master even away from death. Do you have that thirst? The thirst to know the TRUTH? To be with that Consciousness, to be with that Nothingness?
Buddha taught that everything is Shoonya, Nothingness, Emptiness and to Just be with it.
The mind does not like emptiness have you noticed? It constantly wants to do something. Buddha says, “That is your obstacle. Your mind wanting to do this or not to do this, likes this or dislikes this, wants this or does not want this. Both, your Raaga and Dvesha is your obstacle. Drop. Be in that emptiness. In that nothingness.”
So this week, keep observing the mind. Can I just be in nothingness? Separate yourself from the chattering mind, separate yourself from the breath, from the body. Be in that nothingness.
Happy Buddha Poornima.
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