Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Letters to Parth - 2
May 20, 2008
My Dear Parth, My Little Buddha,
Yesterday was the birthday of Gautama Buddha. He was born during the full moon many hundred years ago as a prince to King Suddhodhana and Queen Mayadevi. He went on to study and understand the nature of life and death and everything between and beyond these two events, and his teachings form what we know today as Buddhism. Maybe some day you will read up on his summary of the nature of things in a way very similar to what modern science has to say.
The moon looked wonderful as it played hide and seek beyond dark clouds left over from the thunderstorm in the early morning. From the beginning of human time, men have wondered and created myths and stories about things that are awesome and difficult to understand like the moon, the stars, the sun, the wind, the rain. People see what they look for, and sometimes, even in the face of facts, they see only what they want to. The moon, like our planet earth, has seas and mountains (though the seas are dry), and from far, these look like irregular blotches on the moon. But since I grew up hearing about the man in the moon, and the rabbit in the moon, when I looked, and sometimes when I look now too, that was what I saw. I remembered how you and I would look at the moon from our balcony and thought I would share a a story I heard as a kid about the funny figure that shows up when you look at the moon.
Once there was a blacksmith who was unhappy with his work and was always complaining. He felt his work was too tiring and it was too hot, and he wished he could be a rock in the shade of a tree on the mountain side, where it was cool and the wind blew. God heard his wishes and said, so be it. And, poof, he became a rock under a tree on the mountain side.
In the meantime, along came a stone cutter looking for stones to cut, and he came upon the rock that had been the blacksmith and began to cut at it. The rock cried out that he did not want to be a rock, he wanted to be a stonecutter. God said, so be it, and, poof, a stone cutter he became.
As he went seeking stones to cut, he grew tired, his feet hurting, and sweat dripping from his brows in the hot sun, he wished he could be the sun, and god said, so be it. And, poof, he became the sun.
But the sun was warmer than anything he had been before, so he cried, this is too warm, I wish I would be the moon, and god said, so be it. And he became the moon. (poof!!)
But soon he realized that even the moon was warm from the sun's light all the time, and he realized that his life as a blacksmith was the best and wished he could return to being a blacksmith. But this time, god said, poof!! I am tired of your wishes. You wished to be the moon, so the moon you will remain. And so he stays in the moon till this day. If you look hard, you can still see him on a big moon night. Next time, remind me to tell you about the razor in exchange of nose story.
Play carefully and hold hands when you cross the street.