It was in September 2013, that I got an opportunity to visit Leh-Ladakh. I would not call it a beautiful but an apt place. Ladakh is a place which is something different from just being called a beautiful place. By using the word beautiful, one can imagine the beauty to be like beautiful mountains, plains, snow etc. But Ladakh is something that I being a writer don’t have a suitable words to describe.
In Ladakh I got an opportunity to get a bit closer to a religion , entirely alien to my mind. I know about Hinduism, Christianity, Sikhism and Islam but knowing about Buddhism was something alien, interesting and a bit scary for me. The place where I live, you hardly get a book on Buddhism or related subject. So i used the opportunity and got myself bagged by books about Buddhism. I visited many monasteries in Ladakh such as Hemus, Shanti Stupa etc but scarcely got any aid as all the voices were echoing in Bodhi language and the inscriptions were in Bodhi as well and I am ignorant of this language. It was only after a month when I was back home that I started reading the stuff. Some books being very helpful Such as Dalai Lama’s ‘The way to freedom’ , Herman Oldenverg’s ‘ Buddha’ etc and some books being not so helpful such as Harrison’s ‘In the lap of Buddha’. That does not anyway lower the merits of Buddhism in my sight.
Siddharta Gautama was born somewhere around 6th century before Christ in the Sakya Clan. His stories have always inspired me to live the life in the manner Siddharta tried to live.
Buddha’s search for truth is something I relate with Islam. Buddha tried to know and understand this world and its happenings by meditating under a tree before he was enlightened. The same story goes on with the Prophet of Islam who used to meditate inside a cave before he was ordered to reveal his prophecy. It is not easy for a person who is in his healthy years and of a reputed family, son of the cheif of clan, Sakya Muni Suddhodhana and Maha Maya leaving his home for the search of the truth. Buddha’s prescribed 4 noble truths have always
been an ambrosial manner to face the most abrasive phases and faces of life.
The only thing, as a basic foundation of Buddhism, that I don’t have faith in is the doctrine of rebirth. Saying that people of same faces have been witnessed in different parts of world at different occations in different times does not anyway prove the theory of Rebirth. In many cases we see people of same face living in different parts of the world same time but does that mean that a soul is living in two bodies at a time ? I have read and discussed this matter with people and up till now I have not witnessed any scholar who was factual enough to make me believe that a person actually takes rebirth in this world .
The concept of ‘Ataman’ is in Buddhism . Concept of ‘Brahma’ and ‘Ishwar’ is in Buddhism, but now the Buddhism has turned its face from the gods and the supreme GOD about whom the most ancient books , from where Buddhism has been lined out, have been claiming. Buddhism now has become a religion of mass chaos, not because of its founder but because many of its followers have drained out the beauty of Buddhism by tagging Buddhism as a religion, like they them self understood. This pessimistic mentality is almost in every religion now, to judge the religion by ones own understanding rather then understanding the religion like it has been taught by its founder. A religion remains a religion until its founder remains its founder. The moment ordinary people start framing a religion, it becomes a weapon of mass destruction.
The philosophy of the origin of the world is the most interesting philosophy of Buddhism near me. When I was trying to know the scientific face of the origin of the worlds, teachings from Islam and Buddhism were the best guides.
Prophecy? As I was getting more and more involved in my studies regarding Buddha, I found something that made me feel a bit more inclined towards Islam via Buddhism. Buddha prophecised long ago about the next Buddha saying:
“He will be the leader of a band of disciples, numbering hundreds of thousands, as I am now leader of bands of disciples, numbering hundred.” Cakkavattisuttanta.
At the time of his final pilgrimage to Makkah, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) offered the prayer as a leader of ‘A hundred thousand’ musalmaans of Arab and Ajam. On other occasion the name of next Buddha has also been pronounced as ‘Metteyya‘ meaning ‘ the loving’ or ‘the loved’ which is in a clear contrast a Pali name for the Arabic name ‘ashic, wadood, Ahmed , MUHAMMAD etc all being the names of the Prophet of Islam , on him be peace.
Buddhism and its founder Buddha are very close to my heart. The basics of Buddhism are the most beautiful gift for a seekers heart. The only thing that mars Buddhism is the exaggeration of the religion by its followers. It would have been better if the Buddhists kept the religion confined to the punctual panoramic perimeters prescribed particularly by the Buddha. Buddhism now is just a name, but Buddha will always live and survive in the hearts of his admirers among whom I can count myself as well.
08th of April 2014