Endless stories have been narrated to make us understand the true essence of Buddhism. These stories have been based on the life of Buddha and experiences of Buddhist followers. In this series of stories I am going to acquaint you with teachings of Buddhism. The first one in this series is about a boy Sessen Doji alias Snow Mountains.
Snow Mountains was a small boy who was very keen and inquisitive to imbibe the lessons of life, which ultimately, with time, transformed into Buddhist teachings. In this pursuit of his, he renounced the luxuries of life and went to the snow covered mountains and indulged into deep meditation.
While meditating one day, he heard a voice in which someone was reciting the verse, “All is changeable, nothing is constant. This is the law of birth and death”. Hearing the voice, when he opened his eyes he saw a ferocious looking demon.
Instead of being scared, he humbly asked the demon whether he was the one who recited this verse of great wisdom. The demon ceased to remember it due to being starved as he could not get anything to eat for a long time. The boy requested him to complete the verse as it was only partially recited. The demon expressed his inability to recite as he was completely famished with hunger. He demanded to be offered something to satiate his hunger.
The boy Snow Mountains asked the demon that what did he eat. Looking at the possibility of finding the food the demon intimidatingly roared, “I eat humans”.
Hearing this the boy readily offered himself to be sacrificed as his food if the demon agreed to reciting the remaining verse. But the demon showed his distrust that what if, after hearing the verse he denied what had been promised.
The demon completed the verse, “Escaping the maelstrom of birth and death, one attains the joy of Nirvana”. Hearing the complete verse the boy Snow Mountains was overjoyed as he had accomplished the true meaning of his life. He recited it many times and memorized it. As he wanted others also to read it, he engraved it on stones, cliffs and trees.
Then, to keep his promise he climbed a tall tree and took a plunge into the demon’s mouth. As soon as he was about to fall, the demon turned into Taishaku, Buddhist name for Hindu god Indra also known as Lord Shakra who is supposed to be the guardian of heaven. He is the god of the heaven, lightening and thunder who was assigned to test the perseverance of Buddhist learners. He prevented him from falling by catching him in his arms. He disclosed that he appeared as a demon to test his dedication in seeking Buddhist teachings. The boy Snow Mountains showed his reverence to the Lord Shakra. Suddenly all heavenly beings appeared there and proclaimed him to be a true Bodhisattva.*
So my dear readers what lesson did you learn from this story today?
Doesn’t it give you a profound message of life?
As per me, I feel that I learnt following things-
- Seeking knowledge also requires dedication and perseverance.
- Irrespective of age, cast and creed by following a correct teaching anyone can become a Bodhisattva.
- In fact our karma also does not hinder the path of Buddhahood.* As we can see that even a demon can be inclined towards it and we may get to hear such great words of wisdom even from the mouth of a demon if we are destined too.
- Dedication and determination act as our gateway to courage and wisdom each passing day, which ultimately lead us to knowledge.
Notes– 1. BODHISATTVA– Bodhi (Enlightenment or Buddhahood) and Sattva (Person) means a person who wants to seek enlightenment and help others leading to the same. It is a state of compassion in which one works tirelessly for the happiness of others.
2. BUDDHAHOOD– A state of absolute completeness, purity, freedom, compassion, courage and boundless wisdom to recognize the ultimate reality of our lives.
Are there any other lessons you have got to learn from this story? Please share your views with me.