Mr. Nowhere and the Laughing Buddha

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Mr. Nowhere was in deep blues as he had been served the termination letter from his job a few months back. He was completely at sea as no job offer was forthcoming, but the bills for domestic expenses were mounting. He was disillusioned, but had not given up running from pillar to post for an opening anywhere. Whom to blame?  Some said it was recession or the effects of global economic meltdown, for which there had to be lay-offs.

 The future looked bleak .Mr. Nowhere was struggling with high blood pressure and blood sugar. His wife was throwing her tantrums and she blamed her destiny for marrying such a person who was unlike the husband of her elder sister, comfortably settled abroad. She was threatening to walk out of the marriage.

He had been to astrologers for consultation, but the remedies for the ill luck were useless. As time went on he tried to combat his illness by yoga but again the teacher deceived him by vanishing in the thin air before the scheduled completion of the course.

 Then there was a chance to meet Buddha!!!

 Mr. Nowhere was seriously weighing an option between life and death. Sometimes, though very optimistic, more often than not, he would toy with the idea of committing suicide. Miseries were endless.

 The man, whom he came to know, had not shaved his head. He was neither sitting with his eyes closed in a meditative posture nor with a spiritual halo behind his head. Strangely at times he would wear his ochre garb but most often he was plain clothed.

 He was known everywhere as ‘the living Buddha’, who could transform a human into a ‘laughing Buddha’. He was not moving with an aura of enlightenment. His neck had no beads and the rosary was missing in his hands. He never taught any sacred spells prescribed in the scriptures for warding off miseries and conferring a prosperous life.

 Such a kind of Buddha did not ask people to inhale and exhale, rather said the real yoga would come only as a result of getting integrated with pleasures of life. Life is God. There is no God in the temples.

 So unique was his first lesson to all his followers that he defined a true spiritualist as the one who would accept the truth as truth and the false as false. He said -“accept the truth as truth and discard the false as venom”.

 Mr. Nowhere was ill-at-ease with such teachings of Buddha. He could not come to terms with the meditation that was being taught. What was silence and why was it needed?

As luck would have it Mr. Nowhere was liked by Buddha and sat at latter’s feet trying to meditate. Slowly he drifted and shook with uncontrollable vibrations in his body. Thoughts were missing and then appeared the most sought after newcomer-silence.

 It was then Mr. Nowhere could realize his life as a whole: a tree with flowers in every branch and offshoot. He could see the new moments in the branches and offshoots and relationships as flowers. Oh! Buddha was the most magnificent in them, shining in the eternity of truth.

 Then in the cradle of silence, Mr.Nowhere was transformed and born as “the laughing Buddha”. He began living in the present and discarded the past as venom. He took grief as challenge. He was reincarnated, ecstatic in his rebirth. He saluted Buddha and left for his union with life.

 Srikanta Mohanty,MBA(Symbiosis),Pune

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