As a kid what did I want to be when I grew up? Might be a kind, helpful and educated human being who can fulfill her small dreams in her life?
It really doesn’t matter to me. I grew up listening to some famous stories of princes who later in their life moved towards enlightenment. Prince Siddhartha became Buddha “The awakened one” and Samrat Ashoka left his vast kingdom in order to find peace and adopted Buddhism.
As a kid I really didn’t want to grow up as a millionaire or a fashionista page 3 celebrity. I wanted to have a life of my own choice and I am fortunate to live life in my own terms. Yes, of course there were adjustments but then who doesn’t do it, right?
When I was a child I really got inspired by one man’s spiritual journey to enlightenment. Might be spiritualism was the common topic in my family. My grandfather used to do explain the meanings of sholkas from sacred books like Ramayana to us and sang bhajans. I knew that I would find solace in my prayers.
Coming back to the story of Prince Siddharha, who was led from the pain of suffering and rebirth towards the path of Enlightenment and came to be known as the Buddha or ‘awakened one’. He was born in a royal family in Lumbini, now in Nepal. After growing up, marrying and having a son he went outside the palace enclosure to see the town. There he saw for the first time in his life each a poor, an aged man and a corpse.
He was greatly disturbed to see the sufferings of humans and finally the inevitable death made him so desperate to find the truth and purpose of human birth. After meeting a monk he too left all his wealth and comforts of royal life to live like a homeless holy man. He kept on trying many things like self-denial, extreme asceticism but that did not satisfy him either.
One day while sitting beneath the Bodhi tree ( the tree of awakening situated in Sarnath, India ) in meditative position, he reflected upon his life’s experience to go deep into the truth he achieved enlightenment finally. He moved the wheel of teachings to spread the knowledge and truth he attained to his disciples for next 45 years before going into samadhi.
After hearing the above story a thought came into my mind that why to run after materialism when we have to finally realize the futility of this life. I had this vision of not going berserk in collecting hard cash, expensive jewelry, gold, expensive and designer wears, land/ houses or flats. As I grew I met a man who was also not very materialistic in nature. We both compliment each other. We earn and spent on our dreams. We travel, buy cameras, golf sets, latest gadgets, have a house and enjoy life.
The daily prompt: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? How close or far are you from that vision?