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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Buddha's "Middle Path"


One Prince Shrown accepted the Buddha's initiation to become a monk. 
His entire kingdom was amazed at his decision, because the prince  would continuously indulge in wine and women and dance.


After his initiation, Prince Shrown turned into a beggar, a monk. 

However, soon the other disciples of Buddha observed that he was moving to the other extreme. Shrown became naked and self-torturing. He would take only one meal on alternate days. He would always meditate in the hot sun. 
Earlier Shrown was a beautiful man with a lovely body, but within six months he turned very thin, ugly and dark.

One night the Buddha went to Shrown and asked him, ”Shrown, I have heard that when you were a prince, you used to play a Veena, a Sitar, and you were a great musician. So I have one question for you. If the strings of the Veena are very loose, what happens?”
Shrown said, ”If the strings are very loose, then no music is possible.”

Then the Buddha asked, ”And if the strings are too tight, then what happens?”
Shrown replied, ”Then too there cannot be any music. The strings must be adjusted in the middle, neither loose nor tight, only then the divine music can flow through the Veena or a Sitar.”
Shrown further said, ”…And it is easy to play a Veena, but only a master of music can set these strings right in the middle…!”

The Buddha then said, ”Shrown, after I observed you for the last six months I am here only to convey the same message to you. Life is musical  only when the strings are neither loose nor tight, but just right in the middle. Although renouncing is easy, only a master knows how to be in the middle. So, be the master of your life and set the strings in the middle in whatever you do in life. Do not go to the extremes, remain just in the middle!!”

Moral of the Story ….

Friends, the Buddha developed his whole technique of meditation on “MAJJHIM NIKAYA” – the Middle Path.


One’s mind has a fascination for the extreme, because in the middle, the mind dissolves. If one looks at the pendulum, it keeps moving to the extremes. When it goes to the left it is gathering momentum to go to the right and when it goes toward the right, it is already accumulating momentum to move towards the left.

If the pendulum remains in the middle, momentum is lost. Then the pendulum has no energy, because the energy comes only from the extremes. One extreme keeps throwing it towards another. It is a circle and thus the pendulum keeps moving.

Friends, the mind is just like a pendulum. It decides on one extreme and then moves to another. If one can keep it centered, all the sufferings can dissolve…!

Please reflect on this …! 

Sangeeta Hegde