True intelligence and distinction lies in your Buddhahood!
At a grocery store the other day, a couple we know had brought their son along with them. The young boy has autism. So, he is often reflective and lost in his own world. Someone seeing the child, smiling curiously at the ceiling, remarked in Tamizh to another: “Ashadu Sirikkarthu!” Loosely translated, it means, “The idiot is laughing!” Of course, it was a very insensitive, inhuman comment. And the person to whom the comment was made quickly whispered a firm admonishment. So, I did not take up the issue with them.
But the inappropriate remark kept me thinking. I concluded that the real ‘ashadu’, idiot, was not the autism-afflicted boy. It was the person who made that comment. Because only an idiot will see Life so insensitively, so inhumanly. To me, the young boy is a Buddha. He has, unwittingly perhaps, learnt the art of living with equanimity, in total bliss, happy being who he is. His autism is a blessing. All of us, educated, intelligent, all-faculties-intact folks, only aspire to get to that state which the young boy has already arrived in. Many of us even fail to understand what this Buddhahood is all about. We wrongly imagine that it is about religion and ritual. We think being educated and financially well-off means we are better than most people around us. But the truth is mere education and knowledge do not necessarily guarantee wisdom. Hear what Osho, the Master, has to say about this. It is brilliant: “Our whole education is absolutely unaware of the fact that growing up is a different process than growing old. Even idiots grow old; only Buddhas grow up!”
Academic education, in fact, when overdone, and over-relied-upon, is a disease. An affliction, that comes in the way of intelligent living! Which is why, I am all for Buddhahood. To be sure, each of us is capable of it. Except that we have to grow up. And for that we have to first awaken. Growing up clearly is not about knowledge and qualifications. It is about going within, connecting with your source, your core, your Self. When you delve deeper you will find value in the silence that will greet you there. And the peace that you discover inside you, in that silence, that peace makes you a Buddha.
So, in effect, the more educated you think your academic qualifications make you, the more wealthy you think your material assets make you, the more experienced you think you are because of your professional body of work, well, these mean nothing from a Life-fulfilment point of view. These only mean you have grown older. It only means you are now a bigger idiot! Being educated, being financially wealthy, being a subject matter expert are not sinful – but imagining that you are, therefore, better off than others is sinful! True intelligence and distinction lies in your Buddhahood. To attain Buddhahood, you must simply un-cling from all that its worldly, all that is perishable, and see the light, metaphorically, in the sky. As Gautama Buddha famously said, “When you see how perfect your Life is, you will look up at the sky and laugh!”
Well, isn’t that what the young boy in the store was doing? Pause and reflect: are you capable of looking up at the sky and laughing with such equanimity and honesty? When you do that, you too will be a Buddha. Until then, just be accepting of the ‘ashadu’ that you are!
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