Buddha’s begging bowl.

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Buddha's begging bowl.

Buddha’s begging bowl.



Buddha was a great prince with access to all the amenities of life, and yet, he chose to leave them all and became a monk with a begging bowl, relying on people to give him food.


Understanding this strange but significant historical event will require a tremendous spiritual depth.

For most people, begging is done only when they do not have enough means to generate food, a basic need for all.

Buddha was not one of them, being a prince.

Having a plethora of resources in life has two effects on man.

  1. It elevates the Ego, giving a sense of elevation of self compared to others.
  2. It also comforts someone that “I have enough resources to handle such a situation if anything happens to me.”

If we analyze these two effects, they both suggest a sense of dependency.

Elevated Ego needs comparison with someone with fewer resources, without whom you can’t feel superior.

A rich is rich only when compared to a poor.

That means the rich are dependent on the poor to be called rich.

Of course, resources are essential in life, but they are not everything.

For example, if a rich person with billions of dollars in assets develops incurable cancer, his assets will not be able to do anything for him, and he will have to die regardless.

That means our resources have a shaky foundation, which can collapse any day, and Buddha had a problem with this.

He realized that when the time comes, resources cannot protect you.

This leads to much suffering, so what good are they?

He set out to find the solution to such suffering.

For Buddha, begging did not arise out of poverty, but it arose as a spiritual exercise, and for such exercise, he sacrificed his whole life.

With begging, there is always uncertainty, whether you will get the food or not, whether it will be enough or not, whether it will be the food you will like, etc.

In situations like these, the mind is left with no choice.

It has to accept the situation as is.

When the mind stops getting what it wants, its demands slowly fade.

And at some point, the mind starts appreciating whatever it gets from begging, making it realize the value of food.

The submission of the mind is a significant shift on a spiritual path.

As long as we keep fulfilling our mind’s demands, the mind stays alive and never lets us go above itself, where the thoughtless state of Consciousness is.

When the mind becomes subdued, a higher spiritual journey becomes possible,

Mind’s temper tantrums do not distract you, and you get a chance to study your psyche from within to reach the ultimate truth of life – the state of Nirvana, which Buddha did.

So, this is the secret of Buddha’s begging bowl.


Mar 08,2023

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