In the evening Drishti and Sunaina were called to the private Prayer hall (the Kaikan). It was a beautiful place with totally white and ambient interior. The ambience was such that just by sitting there, a person could be transpo rted into an introspective state. In the center there was big dome on which there were intricate paintings depicting various life phases of Gautama Buddha. On the left side there was a very colourful painting depicting the descent of Buddha from Tushita heaven and entering the mother’s womb. There was another painting of the time of the birth of Buddha. The next painting showed his accomplishments in worldly arts. The other painting showed the starting of his detachment as he saw the last rites of a dead man. Then there was this painting on the right wall, a huge one which showed his renunciation from the worldly leisures when he left home to become a monk leaving behind his wife and a newly born baby.
The most beautiful painting was that of the Buddha sitting under the Bodhi Tree in deep meditation. He was depicted sitting under a big Pipal tree. His face was radiating with a deep undisturbed peace. A strong beam of light coming out from the other end which denotes his awakening to the truth of life. But nothing charmed him and nothing did he fear. Neither did he fear the Mara, the demon of death, rebirth and desire, who in her own vicious ways tried to pose sometimes as demons trying to threaten him, sometimes as beautiful women trying to seduce him to deter him from his path. His eyes ajar and all the earthly attractions trying to distract him and dissuade him from accomplishing that ultimate knowledge beyond which the words lose their meaning and questions cease to exist. The painting was so expressive that it conveyed the true mental state of Gautam Buddha which he might have been through at the time of enlightenment. All the worldly sins and leisures were depicted to deter him. There were demons representing anger which tried to enrage him by shooting arrows of fire at him but with his invulnerable poise he could easily overcome them and defeated them without even raising a brow.
The heavy storms along with intense thunderstorms tried to scare him and disrupt his meditation but he would not give up. The calmness on his face was absolutely unperturbed. There were fierce winds and sandstorms which lashed him like whips on his body but to no avail. A whole battalion of evils shot a barrage of fire infused arrows at him but with his unfathomable aplomb they got converted into flowers and got showered on him. Even the big fireballs shot at him couldn’t change his conviction.
When it seemed as if the Mara was exhausted of all his evil ambitions and delusions and had accepted his defeat, it looked like a new dawn with a dazzling sun rising and emerging through the dark clouds, Mara emerged again from the earth as Buddha’s own refection to delude him and tried to pull him forcefully but Buddha’s perseverance was so strong that nothing mattered and nothing bothered him. He was fearless, strong, invincible on one side and still very poised and calm on the other. Finally, Mara surrendered and accepted his defeat and vanished and what was left was true pure form of Buddha, free from all desires and sins, unattached to the relations and possessions which had dragged him into an unescapable maelstrom throughout his life.
His primary questions like “Why there was so much suffering in life? Why does a human have to pass through various sufferings of life like aging, sickness and death?” seem to have been resolved. He had come to know that humans get consumed by their desires and fight amongst each other to fulfil them as they are ignorant to the law of life. According to him anybody could find a solution if he discovers this law.
He had reached a state so pure that he had got detached even from his own identity, casting off the transient and revealing the true identity as a Buddha. He was ultimately able to find a much-coveted state where the difference between the question and the answer loses importance as if all the questions arising in mind find their own answers without one’s effort, where the pain needs no more remedy as it itself becomes the one, where you are in unison with yourself and need no more company of the worldly leisures, where it seems as if you don’t have to seek the destination but the destination seems to be searching for you when the epiphanic moment of discovery of the law of life arrives .
A true sublime state beyond any explanation, above any reasoning. The ethereal state of Nirvana which every Buddhist practitioner yearns for and strives to achieve. The fight doesn’t end with Nirvana. Nirvana isn’t the end of all problems. As a human one needs to continuously fight with his inner evils with continual effort and strong faith, losing either of which may lead to going back to the previous state of problems and dilemma.
Even Buddha faced a lot of turmoil immediately after experiencing the state of Nirvana.
Sitting under the Bodhi Tree just after the intense experience of awakening and enlightenment he was again surrounded with confusion, dilemma and anxiety. The dilemma was how to or whether he should expound the knowledge to the world. Would they believe his experiences or the solutions which he had just found? Or would he possibly be persecuted for trying to propose a new unprecedented realm of knowledge which had never been experienced by anyone prior to him? Is this knowledge just to be kept to himself or to be shared with others?
Such endless questions were arising in his mind and he wasn’t able to find answers to them. The resolve to his dilemma was found when, according to the Buddhist teachings, Lord Brahma appeared in front of the indecisive Shakyamuni and entreated him to preach his experiences and findings with the others and so he did. He committed his remaining part of life preaching the law of life to others visiting place to place which became the sole purpose of his life till his death.