“In the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away” – Shing Xiong

Friday, July 18, 2014

Relics of the Buddha

My goodness, I watched a video recently about the excavation of a reliquary that may have held some of the cremated remains of the body of the Buddha. The commentator kept saying this was so important to millions of Buddhists, little does he know. But it certainly sounded like that is what Buddhist care about...Wrong!
Well, at least not here at Great Determination.

In fact that is the opposite of what we think the Buddha taught, so it is quite ironic and sadly hilarious. It is lovely to celebrate a life of such generosity compassion and wisdom as the Buddha's but those remains mean nothing. The celebration is a feeling within, inside the breast of loving respect for such inspiring concepts. If that inspiration helps further our practice of the Dhamma his teaching then it is a worth while influence. If it furthers ignorance and delusion such as elevating the material dust and bone fragments, gold and jewels to 'holiness' then it is harmful and should be avoided.

The Buddha's gift to us was immaterial, unsubstantial so why would we revere form to celebrate his life? Rather we would put our shoulder to the Practice and work with all our might to travel the 8 Fold Path every moment this very moment. When we find the joy of that then we are celebrating the Buddha.

For a much much better elaboration on the true meaning of relic vs reality see Walt Whitman's Song of the Rolling Earth, thanks to Rajju Jim.

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