April 8, 2008

Buddha, Nirvana in 10 Easy Steps...

Today is the birthday of Buddha, the round bellied god of Buddhism. Everyone has seen the familiar figure, he's everywhere. And, everyone knows the belief about rubbing his belly for good luck. But, how many people know that "The Buddha", as he's recognized now, worldwide, was never meant to be worshipped. He was not a god, but a simple man. His teaching span across the world, but he never intended any of us to worship him. He was a teacher, and like most teachers he wanted us to learn from him. What was he teaching us? To reach an inner calm and higher form of life called "Nirvana". Somewhere along the line he went from teacher to a worshipped god. How would he feel about that? My guess is, he'd be at least a little bothered by all the attention, especially the merchandise sold in his "honor". Buddha's teaching's were meant to simplify and center us as human being, they were never meant to become the material, buy a book and you'll reach nirvana, levels they've reached today. Nirvana was not meant to be an accomplishment achieved in just a couple simple lessons, it was a lifetime, sometimes more than one lifetime, goal. Today, Buddhists worldwide celebrate his birthday, but has his message been lost in time?