Nirvana

March 17, 2017

 

 

 

Our parents took a very old tradition by taking their time to name their children in the ancient Sanskrit way.  The naming could take months after a baby is born as the person's developed personality, the meaning, alphabet composition, suitbility and all the auspicious elements would be taken into account.  And I think this is probably the reason why every Thai has to have a holding name long before their proper official name is given.

 

Nickname for Thai people is not what your friends call you at school (that is the unofficial version you don't want your parents to know - we have that too!) but rather a semi-compulsory, almost-official name that would begin at birth.

 

In our family, we have names that mean "The three jewels (of the lord Buddha)", "The marvel arrows to protect", "The last beloved princess", and, for me, "The enlightenment". 

 

My name though is kinda hard to live up to expectation being an ordinary human being and not a divine one!  But every now and then, my name, or rather, the motivation behind my parents' thought, helps grasp my soul - in a much, much deeper level in me.  It's all in the mind; everyone's “nirvana” well exists and should never be restricted.

 

Here’s why - various learnings and excerpts I so take to heart :

 

Two thousands-five hundred fifty eights years ago, the Buddhists reached the paradoxical conclusion that the worst doubt was not to doubt the existence of the self. This, then, was the second fetter to Gautama – to doubt the truth of the impermanence of the self.

 

In the quiet hour, freed from all disturbing emotions, the saint may attain that sense of tranquility which is described as a state of victory over the world and over birth and death, a state of inward peace that can never be shaken, of a joy that can never be ruffled. This is the condition of Nirvana.

The great Rabindranath Tagore and my favourite in the whole world once spoke of civilization’s “constant struggle for a great Further,” referring to the instinct that motivates us to go beyond, to break out of our shell of limitations, our thirst for knowledge.

 

Tagore called this Endless Further our “ceaseless adventure.” It is endless because knowledge is endless. No one can ever know everything.

Tagore also knew that our spiritual journey has no destination, there is only the journey itself. As we set out on the road to liberation, we might think that we will eventually arrive at some destination, a final horizon. However, that is just an illusion, a concept in our minds.

 

We see a beautiful horizon before us and yet we know that it can never be reached. The horizon will always be ahead. This does not lessen its beauty nor does it deter us from walking on. That is wayfaring to the Endless Further.

 

“ When you realize original mind
The mind sees Buddha
The mind is Buddha;
This Buddha is mind"
: "Mind King" - Master Fu, 497-569

 

Blessing all fellow sentient beings on this Vesak Day – a phenomenal day to reflect on birth, the journey of sufferings, the Nirvana and this Endless Further.

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