One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Young Man Who Shattered My Concept of a Buddha

Until now, I had this idea that all those who leave their homes for a greater purpose are living Buddhas (By Buddha here I mean, an enlightened person). On morning of January 23rd, some pictures put the first hole in my this dear concept, and on January 25, I had to rethink the whole concept anew. I had to accept that I had built my concept of a Buddha on a snapshot of the first Buddha’s act of leaving his palace into the world out there to find “the truth” as essence of Buddha’s whole story. This was definitely kindling my thinking, while I was shaping and reshaping my plans for wandering into the world out there. On January 22nd, I woke up with the terrible news that a suicide bomber has blown-up a bus carrying pilgrims in Mastung district of Baluchistan. It was not the first suicide attack on buses of pilgrims, and in words of Mushtaq Ahmed Yusufi, the Pakistanis who live out of country hear bad news so frequently, that they have become sensitive like seismometers who start vibrating with any news come out of the country, and pray that this one shouldn't be true, and every time, the news turns out right. The pain and suffering is heartbreaking, and the inability to have a helping hand is nerve-racking. That day, the news had no human-face and the victims were just numbers.

The next day (January 23rd), the first images of victims started surfacing on the social media. Among them, the pictures of Ibtihaj and his sister Umm-e-Farwah caught the attention of media. The pictures were speaking loud the love of the sister and brother , and their enthusiasm for life.As I mentioned at the start of this knol that, on January 23rd, some pictures put the first holes in my dear concept of Buddha. These were the pictures. These pictures reminded me that leaving the home for a purpose is just the start of becoming a Buddha. The journey is not the purpose. The purpose is to overcome the suffering. It was a wired feeling. A true tragedy that has occupied my mind. I was not able to stop not imagining a young boy who has to live the rest of his life missing his dearest sisters, mother and grandmother (Ibtihaj had lost his two sisters, mother, grandmother, and he himself was injured in the event and was hospitalized). If just the image of such life was so painful, how this young boy is going to cope with the pains that he has to live the rest of his with? I just didn't want to think beyond this. It was these thoughts that made me to think about the teachings of Buddha. My understanding of  his teaching was that, life is suffering and suffering starts in minds and the only way to reduce the suffering is through the mindfulness. In other words, my concept of living Buddhas were replaced by the teaching of the Buddha. It is very likely that brain is wired to compare the contrasting images, as out of no where the image of Spozhmay came to my mind. The image of 8-years old, visibly disoriented and distressed Spozhmay (arrested teen-female suicide bomber) started to appear even more painful to me. They say, "young souls are innocent". There were two different pictures of teens on my screen. At one side, teens that were filled with love and life and lost in the suicide attack. On other side, there was a teen who was forced to blew herself up.She survived by failing, but her pleas for life and protection from her brother was equally painful. At one side, there were brother and sister who were best friends, and on other side, there was a sister who was asking protection from his brother. What I could do? These images were facts on the ground and I had to live with them. I had to incorporate the Buddha's teaching that life is suffering and suffering begin in mind. The sooner one accepts the fact and reconciles with them, the lesser are the sufferings. It is easy to utter these words, but practically, it is not easy to not think about the families who have to live the wounds for the rest of their lives.

On January 25, an image of Ibtihaj surfaced on the social media that was showing him making a victory sign with a smiling face. That was unbelievable, and it shattered my all concepts altogether. Here is a teenage boy, who has lost 4 members of his family and he himself is wounded, but do not show any sign of pain or weakness. He had left his home for a purpose (pilgrimage) and had been through worst possible suffering and yet has not let pain and suffering overcome him. If Buddha is a person who has overcome his suffering, so far this boy definitely fits my new concept of a Buddha. I pray that he stays strong, and grow even stronger in the course of his life. He is definitely a source of inspiration.

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