Prajney & Karuney

May 29, 2021 at 9:15 AMMay (Media, Musings, Slice Of Life, Soliloquy)

Though a bit nervous, I still didn’t miss spotting the Buddhist Seminary across the road. As I walked towards the examination center, getting down from the auto, I decided to visit the Seminary after the exam.

It was May 2009 & I was in Bangalore to write my M.Phil entrance exam, for which the venue was the Kendriya Vidyalaya, in Sadashiva Nagara.

As soon as the exam got over, I walked across the road and entered the Seminary. There was nobody inside. I sat there for a while, feeling my breath, and felt relaxed after feeling anxious for nearly two days.

When about to leave, I felt the urge to see the idol from near and went close to the sculpture of Buddha. I had one of the most basic phones those days with a very poor camera. Since it never promised good images, I had never clicked a single photo with it. But that day when I stood there, I found myself slowly pulling out the phone from my pocket and click the image of the idol (Image 1) of Buddha. That was my first step in mobile photography!

“Not bad”, I told myself looking at the image I had captured and began walking towards the door, to exit from the Seminary. And, there I came face to face with a monk who greeted me with great warmth! He asked me for my name and where I came from. On learning that I had come to write my entrance exam, he took me to their office, made me sit, and asked me what course I had applied for. He was happy to know that my plan was to quit my job and go for higher studies. “There is no end to learning,” he said and took out from their cupboard a small idol of the Buddha (image 2) and handed it over to me, saying, “Carry this along with you when you go for higher studies.” I smiled and accepted it.

Not knowing what to say, I sat there silently. After few seconds, the monk broke the silence saying, “prajney (wisdom in consciousness) and karuNey (compassion, kindness) are very essential for humans,” and suggested that whatever I do in life, the aim of my actions must be to lessen the pain of people around me.

I bowed down to the monk and left…

I still carry the idol and also carry his words in my heart, perpetually trying to practice and failing at it, but never giving up.

(Vesak, 2021)

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