There was another painting depicting the conquest of evils. There were some other paintings which showed the life of Buddha as a monk. This meditation hall was not only a room in itself but a complete journey through Buddhism. Just below the dome aligned to the wall there was a beautifully hand-crafted wooden cabinet called the Butsudan. Sunaina felt that an unseen force attracted her towards the Butsudan and so was the condition of Drishti. The Butsudan was closed and they both were keen to see what was there inside it but were hesitant to ask for it.
Their fascination knew no boundaries to visit such an ambient place. They had lots of questions in their minds and as if they wanted to know everything hastily. Unaware of the fact that it was a dawn of a new day for them and that there was lot to learn and understand before they could start off for this journey to the kingdom of knowledge, in which they would just have to do their chanting of Lotus Sutra with dedication and the all doors of knowledge would open to them. They would not have to practise such aggressive meditation like Buddha but just follow the principles expounded by him. Both of them were anxious to begin their dream pursuit.
Fascinated with all that they had just seen, Drishti and Sunaina had many questions emerging in their inquisitive minds. Where was Gautam Buddha born? Why did he leave his kingdom and family to become a monk? Why did ‘Mara’ try to dissuade Gautam from accomplishing ‘Nirvana’? How could he defeat that demon ‘Mara’ without any weapon? How did Buddha lead his remaining life after Nirvana? How did he spread the knowledge further? Did all his sufferings end with attaining Nirvana? Such questions were floating in their innocent minds and they wanted answers to all these questions. The queen sensed their inquisition and said to them, “I know that you may have many questions in your mind. Don’t worry, all of them will be answered during your learning. When such questions about life intrigued Buddha, he had to struggle and suffer so hard to find answers to them as he didn’t have any base or mentor to guide him to these answers to learn from and he had to steer his way through all these rough waters himself.
But here you are my children who can find all the solutions without much effort just by the grace of teachings of Buddha and our mentors. We can just practice what they thought with complete conviction and find solutions to all the questions by simply following their teachings in correct way and regularly chanting the lotus sutra. Originally buddha expounded his theory in 28 chapters of Lotus Sutra and one of our mentors Daishonin further expounded the shortened version of Lotus sutra to just seven characters drastically reducing our effort as a learner and making it yet more achievable even by a common man without having to renounce anything continuing his daily tasks as before. Lotus Sutra though, a shortened version does not in anyway mean less effective and yields same results as the complete version.
When a mason uses support to build a pillar during the construction but this support can be removed once the pillar gains enough strength to stand by itself similarly the lotus sutra is the pure essence of all the teaching in the concentrated forms and please bear in mind that you have to carry this light as a torch bearer to help people to remove the darkness from their lives just as Buddha and our mentors did. I am always there to help you but remember that you will only reach the destination when you travel your own path. There will be lows and highs, sometimes you may see the zenith and other the Nadir but successful will be the one who would be able to overcome the lows and bounce back to the highs again and again. It is not a one-day journey, in fact it’s not a destination. You have to keep going throughout your lives but believe me this journey from self to selfless is inexplicably beautiful and enriching.
A new life awaits you and the day one starts tomorrow morning. For today, just relax and acquaint yourselves with the palace, lest you should lose your way and get lost in this labyrinth. Diksha will take you around and introduce both of you to everyone. Feel free to ask me for anything you want. This Palace is going to be your abode for next few months. Diksha took them around the palace. It was really huge. They had never had a chance to even see such a palace, getting a chance to live in one was totally out of imagination. It felt like a dream to them. It took them many hours to just look at the palace. They had a sumptuous dinner with the whole family and finally escorted to their rooms to sleep.
Just before going to sleep they were just recollecting all that had happened in last two days. They went to a comfortable sleep for the night. Next day early morning Drishti opened her eyes with the chirping of Cuckoos and Sparrows. She woke Sunaina also both of them had a bath and were given beautiful new clothes to wear as they were about to set off on a journey to a new life.