Nirvana

There is something inherently beautiful about faith. If you look closely at all religious teachings, there is a very layered overlap. Each culture explains moral and ethical implications of every action and decision we make. What sets them apart is the way in which these are explained, giving us an insight into the socio-linguistic fabric of a region. If you observe closely, people from the same religious background follow different cultural beliefs. Geography, philosophy, sociology, psychology and economics blend in beautifully to make the world around us go round. Add in a dash of history, and voila! there are so many stories to explore. If you’ve followed my blog, you’d have realized, I am trying to understand how all the pieces of this complex puzzle called civilization come together so elegantly.

Lately, I seem to be pulled into the Buddhist teachings a lot. From my solo trip to Aurangabad, leading into my lovely vacation in Sri Lanka, the depiction and understanding of the culture is incredibly diverse and interesting. Then my mother got me a keepsake from Indonesia too (the dome structure is a replica of the Borobudur Old Buddhist temple, Yogyakarta, Java). The golden one mounted on the elephant is from my time in Pune, which was a sign to let go (remember the lesson, forget the hurt). The bronze one I picked up at Ajanta Caves, Aurangabad, and the gorgeous center piece is from Sri Lanka. One of the guards in Aurangabad very poetically told me that when you walk inside the sanatorium to meet Buddha, you leave you possessions, desires and inhibitions at the door, you can take them back if you so choose to, if you need them, on your way back. My friend, who is a practicing Buddhist, too explained that he (the Buddha, not the guard) proposes not a life of abstinence, but one without excesses.

That got me thinking. Whenever I was told categorically not to do a certain thing, my mind would egg me on, tempt me to find out the consequences. Forced curiosity often doesn’t end in sensible choices, but curiosity in itself is a wonderful exploration tool. You just need to realize how much is your too much. The picture above is my idea of desires and addictions. We all love something dearly, be it alcohol, cheap wine, expensive champagne, cigars, chocolates, a fancy house, clean water, home cooked sweets, cookies, chips, donuts, organic produce, Nutella, ketchup, butter chicken… the list of attachments can be endless. Even when we imagine our divine friend, we only ask, never converse. But if you have something to say, he listens uninterrupted. He’s saved you a front row seat, what would you want him to hear, if you have a chance right now?

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