There is the story of a dramatic experience in the life of Gautam Buddha. Even a realised Buddha did not know the twist in it. Siddhartha, who later became enlightened and became known as Buddha, was born in 623 BC into an aristocratic family in the Shakya clan in Lumbini, in the Terai plains of southern Nepal. He was married to a beautiful lady by name Yasodhara. But Siddhartha left his house and went in search of knowing suffering. It was on the same night in which a baby boy was born to him. If there was one reason for the widowed lady to continue living, it was the baby. Everybody advised her to marry again; but she didn’t. She was so beautiful that there were many young high-profile guys, ready to take her.
Anyway, one fine day, Gautam Buddha appeared before Yasodhara! However, she could not see him as a man who ran away from her.
She asked him, “Everybody calls you Buddha?” “Yes! I know.” Buddha replied.
“What does it mean?” Yasodhara asked.
“I think, a knower or an enlightened one.” Buddha replied.
Yasodhara gave a meaningful smile and then said, “I think both of us have learned a few new lessons. What you have learned will spiritually empower many. But nobody is likely to know what I have learned.”
The enlightened Buddha did not know this. He asked her, “What did you learn?”
“It is that a brave lady moving to completeness needs nobody to support her. A lady in herself is complete!” Tears rolled down her cheeks, as she said this.
Some time back, when I was at Kalady, a village in Ernakulam district of Kerala, I heard about a family doing home schooling. I went to that house. I saw a man in his forties and a twelve-thirteen years old boy. Their little cute simple house was ashore by the river Periyar. The garden there also was developed by them.
I heard the boy proudly say that he had not been into any School. As they introduced themselves more, I came to know that the man was an IT star and his wife also was a postgraduate, working somewhere. Also, they belonged to different castes. Their cast and community boxes always were marked with a “Nil’.
Sitting in silence for a few minutes on the veranda facing the river was enough to take one to a semi-conscious state. So much was the ambiance of the compound. Quite inspiring was the landscape and the lush greenery there. What that hit me most was their humility and the care with which they chose each word. More surprising for me was the information that these children knew four languages.
They said that they have visited almost all heritage sites in India, which include Himalayan holes too. I certify that they had more experience and humility than that of a college bachelor. In between, they said that the boy gives occasional lectures in Schools and sometimes in colleges too!
It was when this family appeared in my memories that I thought of Yasodhara and her precious lesson. It applies to everyone! Everybody and everything in this universe are complete in themselves!