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Literature for SELF-Discovery

Buddha, Supreme Exemplar of Compassion

It was the first full moon day in May when Buddha was born, reached enlightenment and left his mortal body. We are honoring this supreme exemplar of compassion and service with the following tribute by Paul Hourihan:


Ramakrishna, the great Indian saint of 19th century India, remarked that to see God in others and as others was the last word in spiritual life. So if we have difficulty doing that―we’re not alone. It is the last word!

Only a profound mystical experience―many of them―can bring us to that state. But Buddha acted on that prescription before his enlightenment. He saw everyone with such empathy and fellow feeling that he didn’t need a mystical experience to fulfill Ramakrishna’s statement. We see that Buddha before his enlightenment was far superior to almost any one else after theirs.

We know of saints and others who have experienced God, but who has agonized over the evils that beset mankind as Buddha did? His mind was transformed by an unabating sorrow for humanity. It is almost selfish to speak of mystical experiences when confronted by such unmatched compassion.

It is true, spiritual experience gave him his Nirvana, his Four Noble Truths, his Philosophy of Life, the discovery of the innermost workings of the mind and karma. All this would have been veiled from him had he not known his mystical experience under the Bodhi tree.

But it is not his philosophy so much as his personality that has captured the imagination of the world. A personality utterly rooted in a feeling of oneness with all living things. He would not even talk about his Experience after it had come―so immersed was he in the consciousness of the unity of all life.

Far more than his philosophy, what immortalized Buddha was his life of purity and love, which exemplified renunciation, self-sacrifice and service in his quest for Truth and the end of all suffering.


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