Symbol of compassion
There blossomed forth into the universe the one human being Sakyamuni Gautama Buddha to relieve the humanity steeped in ignorance since life was begun on this earth. The great truth of life, the absolute, eternal, the supreme and the universal truth was unfolded to the world.
“The people suffer, because they are born,” he, by his super normal vision, insight, wisdom and intelligence was able to discover the cause of repeated births in the never ending cycle of Sansara.
This process, with all its sufferings, was the target and the gist of his teachings. Reaching Nibbana the state of non-existence, meaning no further birth, facing death for the last time bringing sansaric wondering and the journey to a close, was the highest goal to be achieved.
Thathagatha the perfect one gave the world this universal truth in no uncertain terms, to be followed by the matured intelligent, the pious and the interested. Thus he gifted to the humanity this unique teaching of his, that revolutionized the human thought making a profound contribution towards the moral and spiritual progress.
Mission of compassion
The Buddha was the noblest being born to the earth. He, as prince Siddhartha, with all the riches, power, glory and regal splendour, gave up his claim to the throne. Then as an ascetic he led an austere life, the conquest was made, the summit of bliss was reached. He realized the four noble truths and the eight-fold path and found the path of liberation, the greatest discovery of the master mind filled with compassion.
Overwhelmed by boundless and limitless compassion for the welfare of the humanity he spent all his life journeying in the kingdoms of North India. He could have led a life of ease but he attached no importance to his physical comfort, he walked all over from village to town showing the people, the way to a happier, nobler and righteous life.
To fulfill his mission he walked through the streets with the begging bowl and showed the way to liberation from suffering to millions, the entire humanity in Jambudweepa. Among the examples, too numerous to be mentioned, the story of Puthigathathissa is an outstanding one.
When the monk was in unbearable pain caused by skin disease with the wounds giving out a bad smell, his friends and companions left him alone. The Blessed One personally attended on him getting him washed, having his soiled clothes changed and comforting him with kind words, restored him to good health.
Brilliant Dhamma techniques
With his overflowing metta, he made the grief stricken mothers Kisa Gotami and Patachara almost gone out of their proper senses, realize the universal truth of death and thereby, come back to normal accepting the true facts. Kisa Gotami’s only child, stung by a snake, was dying and this unbearable sad event took her to Buddha for a remedy with the dead child in her arms.
He wanted her to bring a few mustard seeds from a house where no one had died which was far from being possible. Then she realized the bitter truth that death was universal, sparing none and that was inherent in every one born to this earth. Patachara’s case was even sadder.
She lost both her children husband parents and all her possessions. Losing all her senses, she ran wildly, in the streets without her clothes on, until she met the Buddha, who brought her back to sanity by convincing her that sorrow is inherent in sansaric existence.
The Buddha said: “Long time have you suffered the death of your loved ones and while you were thus suffering, you have shed more tears than there is water in the four oceans. If you could have got over then, why not now?” Rajjumala, the harassed slave girl by the household, taking a rope with her was on her way to commit suicide.
She was rescued from the unwise act and brought before the Buddha who with his boundless metta advised her thus: “Sister you cannot find solace at the end of a rope, come join the order of bhikkhunis where you find solace.” Angulimala the dreaded murderer was subdued by Buddha by a few soothing words meaningful to the greatest height, to his deranged mind.
Angulimala, who was responsible for the ugly beastly act of his, threw away his sword and became a bhikkhu and later an arahant. The Buddha at his enlightenment fully understood the true nature of the world and its beings which was of true benefit to others.
Devadatta is another character that shows the depth of his compassion to the Buddhists. Devadatta was the worst enemy of the Buddha. To the great master there was no such person and no enmity at all.
With his overwhelming compassion, he sympathized with him and permitted him to enter the order of Sangha and went further in predicting that he will be a Pacceka Buddha, one day - this is the best example to show that the Buddha was the most truly and completely compassionate being in the entire universe.
The Buddha, over time, turned sinners into meritorious men. With his wonderful psychological techniques of Dhamma, turned the proud into humble, disobedient into obedient, enlightened the ignorant and inspired one and all. His compassion was endless.
Bliss of compassion
Metta or loving kindness, universal love or compassion, originates in one’s mind particularly in the minds of the enlightened ones. The Buddha is a symbol of compassion manifesting the spirit of Maithri.
It is a natural flow that radiates all over when one is deeply and sincerely wish for the happiness and wellbeing of all living beings without discrimination. Who else? It is Thathagatha the perfect one only symbolizes in all its perfection.
This is an important concept in the teachings of the Buddha inherent in him and if forms the basis of his doctrine.
It is only by loving kindness that one can eliminate ill-feeling towards others. It is only the loving hearts with loving kindness can be happy at the success of the others which means that there is no envy or jealousy whatsoever.