Sunday, January 16, 2011

Attachment & Gautama Buddha

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Nature of our mind is so that it gets attached to some object, place or person badly. In such a state our mind is swayed by the emotions than the intellect. We always think of that object, place or person & without it, our life seems impossible.
"Gautama Buddha" was born a Prince but he left his kingdom, family etc. in search of the truth. In the "Jataka Stories" there are many accounts of Gautama Buddha's previous lives in which he was born among humans, as well as, animals kingdom. Here below is a story from Jataka's in which Gautama Buddha teaches that too much attachment in life is not good.

"In olden times there was a Potter and he had a wife and family to support. In their nearby place, lay a great natural lake & next to that lake was a great river. When there were rains & there was much water, river and lake used to merge into one; but when the water was low, river and lake used to be apart. Water born fish and tortoises know by their own instinct, when in the year there shall be rain and when there shall be a drought. At one time, the fish and tortoises which lived in that lake knew that there would be a drought; and as at that time lake & river were one water, they swam out of the lake into the deep river. But there was one Tortoise that would not leave the lake & go into the deep river. He said, "As I was born in this lake, and because I have grown up here, and here is my parental home, so I cannot leave this lake. That Tortoise lived in that lake only"

Then the hot season came & all the water of the lake dried up. That Tortoise dug a hole in the lake and buried himself, just in the place where the Potter used to come to fetch the clay for making the clay pots. One day the Potter came to get some clay & he started digging the dry lake with a big spade. His spade cracked the tortoise' shell & turned him out on the ground as though he were a large piece of clay. In the pain & agony the Tortoise thought, "Here I am, dying, all because I was too fond of my home in the lake & never wanted to leave it!. As I was born in the lake & I lived here in the clay but now the same lake & clay are going to take my life. If I would have thought properly & have went with the other in the deep river, I would not have gone through this pain & agony."

So he went on and on, talking to the Potter, till he died. The Potter picked him up, and collecting all the villagers addressed them thus: "Look at this Tortoise. When the other fish and tortoises went into the great river, he was too fond of his parental home to go with them, and buried himself in the place where I get my clay. Then as I was digging for clay, I broke his shell with my big spade, and turned him out on the ground in the belief that he was a large lump of clay. Then the Tortoise called to his mind what he had done, lamented his fate and expired. So you see he came to his end because he was too fond of & deeply attached to his home. Take care not to be like this tortoise. Don't say to yourselves, 'I have money, home, I have a son, I have a daughter, I have numbers of men and maids for my service, I have precious gold'; do not cling to these things with craving and desire. Simply do not get attached to anything very much that you cannot leave it.

**** In the above story Potter was Gautama Buddha himself in his one of the previous births & the Tortoise was his disciple Ānanda in that birth."

Too much attachment to anything is also called Infatuation & it is the cause of most sorrows. Infatuation is something that we get attached to some object, place or person very badly. We are always thinking of that & without that thing, our life seems impossible. Due to such Infatuation our mind always wanders about that & forgets other important things in life.

We too find our self in such situations many times. Say you have very lovely children & you love them very much. You always think of them & little separation of them from you worries you a lot. But say one day your son gets admission to some foreign university & he has to leave you for quite many years. You find yourself so much attached to him that your mind gets troubled at just thinking that he shall go away to such a faraway land & you shall not be able to meet him. Similar thing happens when your daughter gets married. So in all such cases if your mind is attached to them greatly, great shall be the pain to the mind during separation from them.
Same applies to other material things like your home, car, money etc. So if your mind is attached to these things greatly, so great shall be the pain to your mind during its separation.

Bhagwat Gita also teaches us to live in this world like that without getting attached to anything or any being. Just like a drop of water on Lotus, where though it is there on it but it is not attached to it.

"brahmany adhaya karmani
sangam tyaktva karoti yah
lipyate na sa papena
padma-patram ivambhasa" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Five verse 10)

"Sri Krishna said: One who performs his duty without any Attachment, surrendering all the results unto the God, is unaffected by sinful action, as the Lotus leaf is untouched by water."

o we should not attach our mind greatly to any material thing, place or human being, as one day we shall have to leave these or these shall go away from us. On that day, if you have great attachment to these, you shall feel great pain, otherwise it shall be a normal life for you. So let us not allow our mind to be INFATUATED by any thing, which can lead us to sorrow.

Jai Sri Krishna

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