“I bear witness”
These were the words of the Earth as a testament to The Buddha dear sangha. At a time when Siddartha Gautama was facing the biggest challenge of his life, he called upon our Earth to be his witness.
“I bear witness” Courtesy Shubzy Da’One
As Siddartha Gautama sat down and started to travel through the stages of meditation, Mara went to war with his mind for the whole night sending armies of demons, his daughters of temptation and finally claimed the seat of enlightenment belonged to him and not a mortal. His army shouted “I am his witness!” To which Mara then ridiculed the Bodhisattva by asking who could he possibly have as a witness. That was when Siddartha Gautama performed the bhumisparsha mudra (touching the earth mudra) and the Earth bellowed “I bear witness!” and with that Mara vanished, the pole star rose in the sky and Siddartha Gautama became The Buddha.
Out of all the powerful beings in this universe, the only being The Buddha called upon in the most important battle of his life was the Earth. Not no devas (gods) or kings. Not any being in the higher planetary planes or any from the lower. He called upon the Earth.
Why dear sangha? Because from the beginning of it’s existence, the Earth has observed each and every one of our lives. All our actions from every life we have ever taken has been seen by the Earth. The Earth had viewed the Bodhisattva aeons ago when he was bowing his head at the feet of the Buddha before him, Dipankara, and made the vow to live through many lives developing the perfections. The Earth had viewed all 547 lives noted in the Jataka tales and more of the Bodhisattva as he strived to develop these perfections. The Earth saw the Bodhisattva all the way up to the absolute ultimate moment where he achieved Budhahood.
How amazing is our Earth? As a child growing up, I was taught that I should be like the Earth. The Earth accepts whatever you give it, good or bad, whether it be receiving water from the rain or rubbish from humans. It does not complain. It accepts it with open arms. My father used to tell me to “be like the Earth and accept both good and bad as prasad (food from god)”. As a Buddhist the same concept arises when practicing the 10 perfections. The 6th perfection is khanti which means forbearance or patience, something which I greatly lack! The stories about this perfection in the Jataka tales say “he should practice forbearance or patience as the earth receives everything which is thrown upon it.”
Be like the Earth my dear sangha. Accept all pains and reliefs with open arms. Respect them both. Welcome them both. Love them both. Such devotion and dedication to those that harm it, the Earth still loves and looks after every living being upon it. Knowing each and every one of you more intimately than you know yourself. It sets the example of being silent, patient and ever observing. Be good to it. Take care of every living thing on it. Nurture it. Give love to it. Be like the Earth dear sangha, because one day, this same Earth hopefully will bear witness to your own enlightenment.
A Dhamma Talk on Vipassana and mindfulness meditation by Vipassana Gossalaya Jotannano Hong Keo, Vipassana Buddhist Master during a 10-Day Meditation & Vipassana Retreats at the Buddhist Meditation Center, Wat Kiryvongsa Bopharam on the 11th Waxing Moon – 7th Waning Moon of Jeṭṭha B.E.2560 equivalent to June 15 – 26, A.D.2016 in Leverett, Massachusetts, U.S.A. in 2016.
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Khmer literature and Dhamma talk by His Holiness Jotannano Chuon Nath, the Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia Buddhism. His Holiness was born on March 11, 1883; passed away on September 25, 1969
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