Thursday, April 14, 2011

Where is your gold?

I subscribe to a meditation podcast (yes, I am that bad). I am not a fan of how the West categorizes Yogasanas and talks about Buddhism. But I have seen and met so many dedicated Yogis outside India that I have stopped being cynical. Actually, I think I prefer being gullible to being cynical.
The usual course of how I listen to my podcast goes in two simple steps. I lie down in a comfortable position as recommended, with headphones in my ears. The next step is when I wake up next morning at 5 AM. Although I think that Zencast is one of the most genuine podcasts on Buddhist philosophy, I have very rarely made it to the other side of an episode in all consciousness.
But two days ago, the story of this golden Buddha made me reflect. This statue that weighs about 5 tonnes, was known to all as a 'clay Buddha' for centuries before someone discovered in 1957, that it was actually a statue made out of pure gold. When the Burmese army was about to invade Thailand, the monks covered this statue in clay to protect it from being looted or disfigured.
Although Buddhist thought has so many parallels and anecdotes to offer, I think this story is a parable in itself. There is much more gold than the literal gold these monks were trying to protect. It instantly reminded me of the Tall Poppy Syndrome,  which is a commonly used phrase in Australia. People  play down their achievements in order to not fall a victim to peer envy. I find that it is a significant part of work politics in every society.The fear of creating envy in others' mind is, believe it or not a genuine fear. It also has a name (zelophobia) if this source is to be trusted.
When you realize the worth of your gold, plastering it with a thick layer of clay would perhaps take you to a peaceful mind. 


Nikhil Savadi said...

Very well put. I guess everyone of us a big zelophobic.

Raj said...

I have many friends who meditate regularly. :)

Saee said...

Thanks. :)
Is that a sarcastic comment. :P Sleep is my meditation I guess. I have also gone into a deep sleep in yoga classes instead of "meditation". The teacher had to wake me up at the end of the session. :-S