Somewhere along the way, Gautama Buddha has become a fashion statement, an on-trend motif.
Buddha is Buddha, Krishna is Krishna, and you are you.
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Gautama Buddha, it is said, gained enlightenment when a village girl, Sujata, offered him kheer (rice pudding). After eating it he realized the noble middle path. The kheer gave energy to his brain and solace to his tortured soul.
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While internationally India talks and acts peace in accordance with its traditions and history, it is ironic that its citizens often do not extend each other the same courtesy. The use of violence to resolve an issue is never too distant from most spheres of everyday life.
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I voluntarily submitted myself to prison for 10 days. I packed one bag with bare necessities and submitted myself, mind and body, to the Dhamma Sikhara Himachal Vipassana Centre. There I observed noble silence for the period of the course and refrained from reading, writing and any other entertaining activities. The timetable required me to wake up at 4am and meditate till 9pm, with shorts breaks in between for rest and meals.
India and Nepal gave the world one of its most precious resources -- the Buddha. Yet neither country truly values this extraordinary legacy, let alone takes pride in it. In the Buddha's own birthplace and homeland, his teachings are marginalised, his wisdom is unappreciated, and his legacy is invisible in society.