An unrivaled heritage
Six years of unwavering courage, tenacious work and endless spiritual pursuit have transformed a human into a divine figure – Siddhartha became Buddha, an enlightened man. Its opposition to the most popular concepts – the Vedas (especially the Karma Kanda section), soul and God – earned him the Nastika etiquette included blatant undeserved hostility and resentment during the formative years of Buddhism, but could not deter it. Although Hinduism flourished around 1500 BC, culminating in the later Upanishadic era, during the time of Buddha it underwent degeneration due to obsession and incompetence. religious spearheads; penance, sacrifices, superficial erudition, regurgitation of scriptures and blind emulation of rituals. In this regard, the destructive criticism on the part of the Nastika schools / religions, undoubtedly the contribution of Buddha stands out, compelled the Orthodox Hinduism to organize themselves on a rationalist basis. During the Axial Age (circa 800 BC – 200 BC), the rise of the Nastika had triggered the creation of Astika the schools (six schools accept the authority of the Vedas) which were instrumental in leading Hinduism to the right direction, previously somewhat misguided.
Buddha is celebrated and revered for his attempts to bring out society rooted in the quagmires of mechanical rituals, appalling caste system, and rampant violent sacrifice. Defying a decadent system that favored unearned hereditary privileges, he revolutionized the awakening of human consciousness by asserting: “Anyone can be a Buddha”; practically synonymous with “Everyone has the right to Brahman”. In other words, the Upanishadic Brahman / Moksha corresponds to Buddhist Nirvana; both free individuals from the slavery of Samsara (the cycle of rebirth). His daring to challenge the rigid system opened spiritual doors to people from all walks of life, previously the prerogatives of the priestly class. Popularize the Shramana Buddha tradition granted everyone the right to metaphysical Brahman, or for that matter to liberation (Moksha or Nirvana). This tradition was largely akin to the initiatives of Martin Luther (Protestant Reformation), rejection of the “intermediary”, against the corrupt 16th century Catholic Church which sold indulgences under the pretext of hell and paradise.
A living embodiment of Satchitananda (pure being-consciousness-bliss), so great that Hindus could hardly ignore, thus conferring on him the title of Lord Vishnu avatar, apart from the categorical rejection by the recalcitrant Buddha of the authority of the Vedas. Meanwhile, there is no dearth of fanatics, always on the lookout for some details to prove the greatness of their religion, exuding self-aggrandizement unabashedly claims the magnanimity of Hinduism for having accepted the Buddha. Such assertions reek of cheap machination, megalomania, and political fervor; a character who transcended all phenomenal boundaries, duality and dichotomy would seek no validation or approval. Truth to be said, Siddhartha’s Nirvana(a mystical experience) and the teachings corresponded to esoteric teachings permeated through the great Upanishads, without surprise; to dismiss him would be to completely deny the clandestine spiritual wisdom of the Hindu religious scriptures. Buddha’s legacy is unprecedented among the greatest spiritual and religious figures in the Indian subcontinent, such as Nagarjuna, Gorakhnath, Adi Sankara, Meera, Kabir, Mahavir, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and others.
The second coming
Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s greatest Russian novelist of all time masterpiece “The Brothers Karamazov” brilliantly imagines the second coming of Jesus Christ, although during the Spanish Inquisition. Furious, disconcerted and exasperated by the return of Jesus, the pope who restrains him begins the interrogations with an unimaginable question: “Why did you come to disturb us?” How would things be if Buddha returned – The Second Coming – to his homeland and confronted all the Nepalese?
Considerable energies are wasted needlessly, to generate a momentary vain ecstasy and poisonous glory affirming the citizenship shared with him, always ready to go tooth and nail on the “right to claim” – the right to claim that Buddha is ours. Repeating the mantra as to where he was born with an agitated and emphatic air – displaying a nefarious nationalist attitude blatantly throwing pejorative slurs to denigrate the neighbor’s claim – has been a widespread norm or strategy for evading the responsibility to fight unreservedly in its footsteps. Diverted by political motives, we do not care much about exploring the timeless teachings of Buddha, much less living in accord with them or becoming a Buddha ourselves; when the will to die for Ram mandir enough, no one asks you if you lived like Ram or not. Sadly, we had to lean in, opportunely exploit it as a rescue card, presumably to cover up our inferiority complex that stemmed from an inability to achieve anything remarkable over all these years. In the Second Coming, such desperation and naivety must disillusion and disgust Buddha, all the more because of our incompetence in not being able to solve bigger problems like the draconian caste system that he condemned and tried to abolish 2,500 years ago.
Awakening a dichotomy and a duality no longer exist; good and evil, pain and pleasure, friend and foe, everything is transcended. Yet, Buddha would have felt astonished or dejected, noticing the incredible resemblance of suffering, greed, hostility, conspiracy, envy, and so on between the 6th century BC and the 21st century. century AD These human adversities can send him dizzy, perhaps depressed, leaving him unhappy and doubtful about the power of his teachings and his philosophy. Center the timeless teachings around – Dhamma or eternal law – born of six years of work for human well-being, obsolete and irrelevant in the 21st century?
Not at all. The infallible teachings, without a doubt, are powerful and relevant, for they have transformed people, uplifting human consciousness, even though the numbers are grossly inadequate. During those 2,500 years, Buddha must have been aware of the grim reality, trusting humans more than they deserve; the bar is too high for many to aim or shoot. This fact, for most of us, is a difficult pill to swallow.
Interestingly, as soon as the realization of Nirvana radiated his being, the Samsara was defeated, all residual Karmas of the past were exhausted, rendering him incapable of being reborn; therefore, the second coming is impossible. Leaving no stone unturned, he relentlessly spread his precious message for 45 years and left hope that the future world will strive to achieve the same goal: Nirvana or awakening. However, accustomed to sleep and ignorance, his return can exasperate us as Jesus of Dostoevsky did to the Pope, and thus force us to reveal our hidden thoughts: “Why have you come back? We can celebrate you as a story, but not yet ready for your wisdom ”.
Way to go
Mobilizing different platforms to propagate the idea of Buddha’s identity and re-enact animosity against neighbors over their hubristic claims is an insignificant and infinitesimal task compared to much higher noble causes characterized by discussion, the dissemination, exchange and monitoring of the heritage of Buddha. Buddha hardly cares about trivial territoriality and our spiritual growth is his only concern. The materialization of his vision – to heal society from the heinous caste system, and uplift human consciousness filled with peace, love, compassion – should overcome our hasty toxic pride fueled by obsessive statements of the mantra “Buddha was born in Nepal. “.
Although our outside world has undergone a dramatic transformation with all kinds of technological advancements, we are internally as vulnerable as we were 2,500 years ago. Strive and yearn for Buddha – the arts of life – unnecessary fear of isolation, loneliness, mental depression, megalomania, stress, depression, greed, hostility , lust, violence and hatred could be kept at bay. Buddha does not promise false hopes, false blessings or vain consolations, far from it; to expect spirituality to heal death, sickness, and loss is unreasonable. On the contrary, it allows us to come to terms with inevitable existential realities, developing resilience and clarity. And above all, let us not forget the fact that countless Buddhas can be born, such as the metamorphosis of Siddhartha into Buddha, provided that we courageously venture on our spiritual journeys.