I am actually in a state of awe right now having just finished my formal morning meditation. I have taken up the practice of reciting the mantra (parikamma) Namo Buddhaya every day for fifteen minutes in the hopes of hitting 100K recitations in 3 months’ time.
Normally when reciting the mantra, I visualize Lord Buddha under the Bodhi tree but this time it ocurred to me to reflect on the various episodes from his life as recounted in the Pali Canon. I recited and reflected the courage and determination it took leave Yasodhara and Rahula sleeping n their bed, on his practicing with the Five Ascetics as the bodhisatta Later, I imagined him expounding the Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta and opening Koṇḍañña’s eyes to the Dhamma as well as some other scenes.
But, as my attention turned to the episode where Lord Buddha tamed the wild and intoxicated tusker Nalagiri I experienced something I have only felt once or twice in my life. As I imagined Lord Buddha gently brushing Ananda aside to prevent him from being trampled by the drunk and enraged elephant and then subduing it through the power of metta all of my hairs stood on end and my eyes began to water. Even now I still feel like crying as I’m overcome by devotion, love, gratitude and the bitter-sweet realization that I will never get to see Lord Buddha with my own eyes.
Clearly, the words completely fail to carry the meaning but, for the first time, I understand what true faith and devotion might mean. Namo Buddhaya!