27th Nov, 2021
This is an old yet true story.
Thousands of years ago, Located in Wat Traimit, a temple in Bangkok, existed the Golden Buddha weighing about five and a half tons of solid gold. The monks would pray before it, people would behold its beauty and all passer-by’s would revere the remarkable masterpiece.
Then, word spread of a coming invasion by the Burmese Army and it became evident that the idol could be stolen.
So, the monks hatched a plan to hide it, placing layer after layer of soil over the Golden Buddha until it became unrecognizable. The invaders marched right by it, to the relief of the monks.
In 1957, an entire Monastery in Thailand was being relocated by a group of monks. One day they were moving a giant clay Buddha when one of the monks noticed a large crack in the clay. On closer investigation he saw there was a golden light emanating from the crack. The monk used a hammer and a chisel to chip away at the clay exterior until he revealed that the statue was in fact, made of solid gold. Pious Buddhists describe this statue as reflecting the true nature of the Buddha, and visitors from all over the world come to marvel at the beauty of this ancient treasure.
After hearing this fascinating story from a guide during one of my visits to Bangkok, I started thinking. Doesn’t what happen over the course of our life, somewhat similar?
Over time, our Golden Buddha too gets covered in layer upon layer of clay.
The heaviest layer of clay is of our own doing. It’s our own limiting self-beliefs that prevent us from following our dreams and fulfilling our potential.
The other layers of clay are added by external conditioning from parents, schools and teachers, bosses and co-workers, society, the media, our religion, government and corporations.
Eventually we are so laden with clay that we forget that the Golden Buddha is there within us all the time.
The secret to finding our Golden Buddha, our higher Life purpose, lies within us. Normally an incident occurs in our life, usually a loss or tragedy of some sort, and we start chipping away at the clay to rediscover those things we were once passionate about.
We reconnect with why we first went into our profession or that job we really, really loved. We recall the times when we were in full flow and time stood still.
We get curious and do something that propels us towards our purpose. We chip away at our clay with the help of a mentor or a trusted advisor. Action of this sort reveals the Golden Buddha within us.
The more we advance—layer by layer—into the treasures of our inner gifts, the more we are rewarded with unexpected bounty.
It’s quite a paradox, isn’t it? To know that the gateway to success and significance in our public life requires us to take an inner voyage into the depths of our private world so that we can own all that we truly are.
With more of the internal work that delivers self-knowledge, more of the gold, that we have covered with dust and soil to insulate ourself against life’s hardships and troubles, will reappear.
The insight I’m really attempting to offer you is that to achieve feats that we are destined to achieve, we don’t need to become someone other than who we now are. We just need to uncover our own Golden Buddha, look for what is hidden within us and we shall be on the road to mastery.
This weekend, take out time to introspect, to discover your Golden Buddha and Stay Blessed Forever.