The one who made us aware of awareness was born today. Gautama Buddha. I know there are many ways by which Buddha’s birthday, it’s not only Buddha’s birthday because, never has it happened in the history of this universe, that somebody was born, enlightened, and attained samadhi, all on the same day. Zero. Twenty-one. Eighty-nine. Everything happened on the same day, the Buddha Purnima. There are chantings, there are prayers, there are celebration, there are poojas, there is fasting.
There are a lot of things that is celebrated all over the world to celebrate Buddha’s birthday. And Buddha is used to his birthday being celebrated like this year after year. For centuries together, that’s how they celebrate his birthday. I really doubt because it shouldn’t have been there during those times. I don’t know whether ever a happy birthday song has ever been sung for Buddha. So if we really talk about, “Come, let’s go the other way.”, then we need to revolutionize this. So for the first time in the history, I think, let’s be the breed of people who’ll sing happy birthday to Buddha.
Shall we? Let’s go. Happy birthday to you! Happy… Hey, everybody! You. Happy birthday, dear Buddha, happy birthday to you! I know it sounds a little amateurish, but Buddha is happy. He is very, very happy, and this is something that I have held very sacred. The only way to show your love to a messenger is to live by the message. It’s not in patronizing, it’s not in glorifying, it’s not in adoring, it’s not in pandering. All that happens in politics. The only way you can show your love and respect to a messenger is to live by the message.
And in that sense, I think it’s such a rare gift, somebody like Buddha happened. Not just from the perspective of all those spiritual dimensions that he unfolded. For me, when I think about the compassion of Buddha, where what he sought enlightenment, was over and done with by the time he was just twenty-one! And if the purpose of human birth is self-realization, his life was done and over. He could have sat under the tree in his non-doing, in his silence, for the rest of his life. Yet he walked on his foot.
Village to village, till he was eighty-nine, every day of his life, purely for the salvation of humanity. Even to think, because even to motivate people to do good, we tell people, see, ensure that it serves the larger good and also serves a personal good, just to motivate people. To think that, he had no more personal good for fulfillment, what he wanted is already attained. And to think that somebody kept breathing, and investing his entire energy, effort, clarity, everything. Gave everything of himself, every day of his life.
Traveling from village to village, he was received, he was celebrated. He was insulted. He was abused. Didn’t matter. The purpose in front of him, that the joy that I have experienced, everybody should experience. The spectacles with which I am able to see life, everybody must be able to see and to know that somebody could walk… Leave everything. Leave the spiritual dimension, leave the new awareness, the new consciousness, leave everything. Let’s just see human being to a human being, to think that one fellow human soul could be so compassionate and selfless, dedicated himself purely for the salvation of humanity, from twenty-one to eighty-nine.
You need to revere that soul. Somewhere, even if a trace of that selflessness can just rub into us. We can begin with our own families. If somebody was able to live every day of his life for the rest of his life, not thinking what he can get anymore, either from God or from the world, but live the rest of his life only thinking what he can give to the world, maybe it can begin with our family. Can we celebrate Buddha Purnima from today, by ensuring that at home, that we will focus on what we can do for everybody else in the family rather than what the family can do for us?
Can we be that source of celebration to the family? Can we bring smile and laughter within the family? Can we be that source of love to the family? Can we be that source of appreciation and celebration in the family? Can we be the first one who is seeking to understand others rather than begging others to understand us? Can we begin there? Can we extend this whole thing to our organization? That no more, your success is defined by how you can lift yourself, but your success is defined by how you can lift others.
Let the organization do their appraisal, whichever way they want to do with you, but you will appraise yourself by not looking at how successful you became between last year and this year. But you will appraise yourself by asking yourself this question, “How many people I lifted them to a different pedestal of success?”, through your leadership. Can you do that? Can we live his message, by bringing in that little fragrance of selflessness, in the way we live our life, by in certain areas, putting the other ahead of us? And I think the possibilities are limitless.
I really think a great liberation Buddha suggested to us is, hatred does not cease by hatred, hatred ceases only by love. By you hating the people who hate you, you only multiply hatred. And the chief destroyer is going to be yourself! Because you are going to destroy your peace, you’re going to destroy your happiness. You’re going to destroy yourself in the process of hating anybody! Hatred does not cease by hatred. Hatred only ceases by love. In fact, every messenger, every prophet who came in, only asked you to forgive those people who have hurt you. Just forgive them.
Buddha went another step and said, “It’s not enough you forgive them, you love them! You love them. Who knows, maybe your love will cleanse them, maybe your love will purify them. Maybe your love will transform them. Your hatred is going to contaminate you as much as the one whom you’re hating. But your love might cleanse the other as much as you feel cleansed in the process of loving the world.”. Hatred does not cease by hatred. Hatred ceases only through love. And we all know experientially, nothing is more self-purifying than love.
And he somehow discovered, the basis of hatred is your anger. Much before you learn to hate somebody, you first feel angry about others. And there was such a profound insight when Buddha was asked once, “Is there a punishment for anger?”. And Buddha said, “There’s no punishment for anger. Because you will be punished by your anger, separate punishment is not required. When you’re angry itself you have started punishing yourself, why separate punishment is required?”. And the seeker asked, “No, I’m not able to understand, and Buddha clarified, “Anger is like taking hot charcoal in your hand, wanting to throw at somebody, not realizing who is getting hurt first in the entire process.”.
Buddha said, “With your anger, much before you hurt anybody in the world, you hurt yourself first. There is no punishment for your anger, you will be punished by your anger, because anger is like taking hot charcoal in your hand, wanting to throw at somebody, not realizing, you hurt yourself first before you hurt anybody else.”. Animals do not have another way to control than through anger. Man have many more empowering ways by which you can take control of a situation. Anger is one of the animalistic options within man. There are lot more ways by which we can take control. By the strength of your energy, by the power of your vibrations, by the radiance of your eyes.
By the purity of your personality. By the way, you live your life, the leadership that you command. By the value, you can add to any situation, by being a solution provider. By bringing clarity where chaos exists. There are so many ways by which, by the sheer strength of your personality, you can empower the situation. Anger is a very pathetic poor choice. I’m not saying we can let go. Can we strive? Can we get the direction right? And he gave such a great perspective to anger when he said, “In any controversy, if it makes you angry, remember you have stopped striving for truth, and you’ve started striving for yourself.
In any controversy, if you become angry, remember, you have stopped striving for truth and you have started striving for yourself.”. The only thing that matters to you is you got to prevail. You are no more interested in looking at what is right. You are only interested in looking at who is right. So, can we, on this day of Buddha Purnima, commit ourselves to that process? Of striving from this animalistic anger to the human-divine ways by which, by the sheer magnificence of your inner personality, you are able to empower any situation.
And the beauty about all these transformation is, the moment you become aware, that I need to move from here to there, the journey has already begun. The journey begins the moment you become aware. And you’ll find the sheer awareness over a period of time, shifts you. From what you do not want to be, to what you are striving to be, the striving begins.