At the Roots of Enlightenment, Part II

After his first seven days under the Bodhi Tree, the Enlightened One moved to the root of the Ajapāla Nigrodha, the Goatherds’ Banyan Tree.  He sat there for the next seven days, feeling the bliss of deliverance.

Then a member of the brahman caste – of the haughty haw-haw-ing kind – asked the Buddha, “What is a brahman, Master Gotama? And what are the things that make a brahman?”

The Buddha, knowing the meaning of this, uttered this exclamation:

The brahman who is rid of evil things,
Not haughty, undefiled and self-controlled,
Perfect in knowledge, and living the brahma-life,
Can rightly employ the word ‘brahman’,
If he is proud of nothing in the world.

(Note: This entry is a paraphrase of Bhikkhu Nānamoli’s The Life of the Buddha, page 33.  And according to footnote 5 on page 349, there is a Pāli word – ‘huhunka-jātika’ – which is said to mean one who says ‘hum hum’ out of pride.)

4 thoughts on “At the Roots of Enlightenment, Part II”

  1. Kusa, thank you for the time and effort you give to creating this site. Your entries are insightful and thought-provoking. I spent a good portion of my morning reading all of your posts! They are very helpful. Your gentle, gracious presentation opens my mind and heart.

    Good luck in your studies!

    1. Thank you for the warm and inspiring words! May all our minds and hearts open as we walk along our varied paths!

    1. Good question…and I think it points to the next post on the Buddha’s post-enlightenment tree-excursion. Keep an eye out!

      And on the getting rid of “I”…no doubt, indeed. But the method, the practice of dropping the “I”, moment by moment…how do we cultivate that?

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