By M K Gandhi
May 28, 2010
God laws are eternal and unalterable and not separable from God Himself. It is an indispensable condition of His very perfection.
Hence there is great confusion that the Buddha disbelieved in God and simply believed in the moral law.
Because of this confusion about God Himself arose the confusion about the proper understanding of the great word Nirvana. Nirvana is undoubtedly not utter extinction. So far as I understand the central fact of the Buddha’s life, Nirvana is utter extinction of all that is base in us, all that is vicious in us, and all that is corrupt and corruptible in us. Nirvana is not like the black dead peace of the grave, but the living peace, the living happiness of a soul which is conscious of itself and conscious of having found its own abode in the heart of the Eternal...
Gautama taught the world to treat even the lowest creatures as equal to himself. He held the life of even the crawling creatures of the earth to be as precious as his own. It is arrogant assumption to say that human beings are lords and masters of ‘lower’ creation. On the contrary, being endowed with greater things of life, they are trustees of the lower animal kingdom. And the great sage lived that truth in his own life. I read as a mere youngster a passage in the Light of Asia describing how the Master took the lamb on his shoulders in the face of the arrogant and ignorant Brahmins who thought that by offering the blood of these innocent lambs they were pleasing God, and he dared them to sacrifice a single one of them. His very presence softened the stony hearts of the Brahmins. They looked up to the Master, they threw away their deadly knives and every one of those animals was saved.
The Buddha said, if you want to do any sacrifice, sacrifice yourself, your lust, all your material ambitions, all worldly ambition. That will be an ennobling sacrifice. His was the right path, right speech, right thought and right conduct. He gave us the unadulterated law of mercy. And the extent of the law as he defined it went beyond the human family. His love, his boundless love went out as much to the lower animals, to the lowest life as to the human beings. And he insisted upon purity of life...
Life is not a bundle of enjoyments, but a bundle of duties. That which separated man from beast essentially man’s recognition of the necessity of putting a series of restraints to worldly enjoyment...
Explore the limitless possibilities of non-violence or ahimsa. It is definitely greater than the gems and the diamonds people prize so much. It can become, if you make wise use of it, your own saving and saving of mankind.
Non-violence is an intensely active force when properly understood and used. A violent man’s activity is most visible, while it lasts. But it is always transitory ... as transitory as that of Chenghis’s slaughter. But the effects of the Buddha’s non-violent action persist and are likely to grow with age. And the most it is practised, the more effective and inexhaustible it becomes, and ultimately the whole world stands agape and exclaims: ‘a miracle has happened’.
Excerpt from The Way Of The Buddha.
Source: The Times of India