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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Enemies Within !!

Once an old Buddhist Master was travelling along a country road, followed by a disciple carrying his bags. As they walked, they saw lands being ploughed while farmers and oxen were strained to the utmost. Countless worms and insects were killed in the process, and birds were swooping to eat them. This led the disciple to wonder to himself, "How hard it is to make a living. I will meditate with all my strength, become a Buddha and save all these creatures."

Immediately the old Master, an ‘Arhat’ who was able to read the thoughts of others, turned around and said, "Let me hold those heavy bags and I will follow you."

The disciple was puzzled but did as instructed and walked in front, with the old Master walking behind carrying all the load of the bags. As they continued on their way with the hot sun bearing down on them, dust swirling all around them, the road stretching endlessly in front, the disciple grew more and more tired. It wasn't long before he thought to himself, "There are so many sentient beings and there is so much suffering, so it is not possible for me to help them all. Perhaps I should try to help myself only."

Immediately, the Master behind him said, "Stop! Now you carry the bags and follow me."

The puzzled disciple did as told, knowing he was not supposed to ask questions. This sequence repeated itself several times. The Master walked in front with the disciple carrying the bags, then the disciple in front with the Master carrying the bags, back and forth, until they stopped for lunch. Then the disciple gathered his courage and asked for the reason.

The Master replied, "When you had exalted thoughts of saving all sentient beings, you had the “Bodhi Chitta”, the mind of a Bodhisattva, and I as an Arhat had to follow you. But as soon as you had selfish thoughts, you dropped the “Bodhi chitta” hence, were no longer a Bodhisattva, and being junior to me in years and experience, you had to carry my bags and walk behind me....!"

Words of Wisdom ....

According to Buddha, an ‘Arhat’ is the highest state of no-mind. The word 'Arhat' means 'The one who has conquered his enemies'.

Friends, who are our enemies? Our own passions, distractions, desires, attachments, hatred, jealousy, possessiveness, anger, etc. are our enemies which are not situated in the outside world but are generated within us by our own mind. This means, our own mind is our biggest enemy who is responsible to give birth to these negative emotions.

Thus, the one who has conquered his own mind is the ‘Arhat’. The one who has come above all the clouds of the mind is the ‘Arhat’. The clouds of negative emotions are no more there, they have been left far behind, so that the being keeps soaring higher and higher into the pure space, into the immaterial space. This is the state of ‘Arhat’.