Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Buddha Purnima



Today is Buddha Purnima, or Vesak, the full-moon associated with the birth, enlightenment and passing away of the Buddha, some 2550 years ago. It is a very auspicious day for Buddhists all over the world.

In an early post, I had written about the Buddha's exclamation on realising enlightenment.

Here are the lines from Sir Edwin Arnold's Light of Asia, which describe Buddha's enlightenment:

... Thus Life's thirst quenches itself
With draughts which double thirst, but who is wise
Tears from his soul this Trishna, feeds his sense
No longer on false shows, files his firm mind
To seek not, strive not, wrong not; bearing meek
All ills which flow from foregone wrongfulness,
And so constraining passions that they die
Famished; till all the sum of ended life -
The Karma - all that total of a soul
Which is the things it did, the thoughts it had,
The 'Self' it wove - with woof of viewless time,
Crossed on the warp invisible of acts -
The outcome of him on the Universe,
Grows pure and sinless; either never more
Needing to find a body and a place,
Or so informing what fresh frame it takes
In new existence that the new toils prove
Lighter and lighter not to be at all,
Thus "finishing the Path;" free from Earth's cheats;
Broken from ties - from Upâdânas - saved
From whirling on the wheel; aroused and sane
As is a man wakened from hateful dreams.
Until - greater than Kings, than Gods more glad! -
The aching craze to live ends, and life glides -
Lifeless - to nameless quiet, nameless joy,
Blessed NIRVANA - sinless, stirless rest -
That change which never changes!

May peace prevail on earth, may all beings be well.

Image: Enlightenment Scene, Temple painting in Bodhgaya, India, by Marianna Rydvald.

2 comments:

Kozi Wolf said...

beautiful rama!

irving said...

What a beautiful poem, summing up with lovely metre and rhyme the teachings and blessings of Buddha. Thank you so much.

Ya Haqq!