Pain is of two kinds, mental and physical. Both are experienced by all living beings and we humans are no exception. While most people can handle physical pain with medicines or by learning to live with it, almost all, cannot manage mental pain. Mind being a monkey, it keeps going back to the pain to re-live, experience and even get a perverse joy in that experience. Quite a few even make big shows of experiencing pain long after the cause has disappeared.
I am a follower of the Indian philosophical system of Vedanta, which teaches detachment called titiksha in Sanskrit. Titiksha along with the other five qualities that are mentioned in the Wikipedia article makes a person face life’s vicissitudes with poise and detachment. Followers of such teachings do not suffer. Since there are ways to avoid suffering, not taking recourse to them is the option one exercises.
All spiritual systems teach adherents how to handle mental pain and Buddhism is no exception. Here is a Zen story to teach the same.
I hope that you enjoyed my take on this Friday’s 2 on 1 post. I had suggested the topic. My fellow blogger too would have some thoughts on this subject and you can read them here.
HE LAUGHED TO HIS DEATH
SOLVING CROSSWORD PUZZLES.
In my case, there is unlikely to be an epitaph but very likely that this would be my obituary announcement in our newspapers.
I hope that you enjoyed reading this post on the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where six of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic was chosen by Delirious who does not write LBC posts any more but visits all the blogs and leaves very interesting comments. The five other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, gaelikaa, Maxi, Paul, Shackman, and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!
I have just read a highly inspiring article in the New York Times. The writer could have been me or my friend Chuck.
Chuck, I am glad that I don’t have to visit China. Aren’t you?
I am still called The Laughing Buddha by some people. In India, that can be blamed on the atrocious spellings that people come up with. It should actually be The Laughing Buddhu.
When I had written about my favourite chair, there were many requests for a full photograph of the painting behind the chair, an Ajanta copy on egg tempera painted by Urmeela. It is a scene of Buddha as a child with his mother, a very popular scene copied by many artists here.
The painted copy is reproduced here:
There is another heavy weight mascot that has traveled with us all over the subcontinent since 1975. Urmeela brought it into our home in Kerala where we were posted at that time. That is, this statuette:
He is supposed to be Kubera, the Lord of wealth.
Conrad had mentioned that he has got a mascot too in the form of a laughing Buddha. So do we. He was brought in by our then daughter in law Leena in 2001. He continues to laugh and here he is:
So, we have here,
1. Buddha depicted here as the child symbolizing his enlightenment. En Lightenment meaning in this context, dropping off all superimposed values, ideas, knowledge etc and reverting to the state of mind that is pure. For Ranjan and me, this is Urmeela’s gift to remind us to be like that.
2. Lord Kubera, who blesses us with wealth and all good things in life. In this context, he also is responsible for health, progeny etc which are all considered to be wealth in our system, and
3. Laughing Buddha, symbolizing laughter, joy and happiness.
Yes, we are blessed.