Buddha and his attendant…
With a sole intent to examine the nature of suffering and to help all sentient beings alleviate it, the young prince, Siddhartha left behind the comforts of his palace — all the luxuries and hundreds of attendants, to endure a difficult path in the forest meditating and facing his mind. Though he didn’t have shoes, he didn’t feel hurt walking on the rough tracks. Though he didn’t have any servants attending him at the snap of his finger, he always felt comforted.
The legend says that cosmos sent a special deity, to secretly ensure his well being. Stripping all the mysticism, I would like to think of this attendant as the compassion in his heart. Most of us surely must have experienced these bouts of immense courage and nourishment when we truly cared for those beings around us. We can quickly see through the problems. And in those moments we never feel deserted or lonely even in a strange land. It is the same compassion that protected and nourished all Buddhas of the past, like a mother. There is no greater miracle in this existence than compassion.
But the challenge is to retain that compassion through out. As this year comes to an end, may we sincerely vow to let go of our hatred, jealousy, dogmas, discriminations and judgements and cultivate a compassionate heart. As Shantideva puts it “If merely a benevolent intention
excels venerating the Buddhas,
Then what need to mention striving to make all beings without exception, happy?”