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Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  30 April 2017 12:00 AM GMT

He was sitting under a tree. An astrologer approached Him. The astrologer was puzzled, for he saw the footprints of a chakravartin on the wet sand and he could not believe his eyes. All the scriptures he had studied and learnt in great detail had taught him about certain signs that can be seen in the feet of a chakravartin — a ruler of all the six continents, one who rules the world.
When he had first seen the footprints beside the riverbank, the astrologer had seen all the signs and was thunderstruck. Were his scriptures wrong and he was wasting his life in astrology? Otherwise, how was it possible that in such a poor, godforsaken village, on such a hot afternoon, a chakravartin would come and walk barefoot on the burning hot sand?
Highly intrigued, the astrologer began eagerly following the footprints, in search of the man who had made these marks. He found the One sitting under a tree. And he grew even more puzzled. The visage was that of a chakravartin, no doubt about it. What beauty, what power, what serenity, what aura! But He was just an alms seeker, clad in a monk’s robe, holding a begging bowl...
Drawn irresistibly to the One, the astrologer touched His feet and asked: “Who are you, sire? I am totally befuddled. The signs I have read tell me you should be a chakravartin, a world ruler. Then what are you doing here, sitting under this tree? Either all the treatises on astrology I have studied are wrong, or I am halluciting and you are not really here.”
The One smiled and replied, “I cannot say anything about your books, or what you believe you are seeing. You are looking for a chakravartin. But there could be an entity which belongs to no category, chakravartin or whatever. I am nobody in particular.”
The astrologer was all the more mystified. “I do not understand. How can you not be anybody in particular? You must then be a god who has come down to visit this Earth. I can see it in your eyes!”
And the One replied, “I am not a god.”
“Then you must be a gandharva — a celestial musician.”
“No, I am not a gandharva either.”
“Then are you a king in disguise, moving incognito among your subjects to observe how they live.”
“Certainly not.”
“Then who exactly are you?”
And the One replied: “I am just a Buddha, simply awareness, and nothing else. I don’t belong to any category. Every category is an identification, but I don’t have any identity.”
The sense of identity is created in the mind moment by moment from bodily sensations, feelings of pleasantness or unpleasantness, perceptions of whatever is stimulating the experience, mental structures around the stimulus, and the consciousness that experiences all this.
So, the Buddha’s disciples talk about the three right understandings of existence — of impermanence, suffering and ‘no-self’. They teach that there is no unchanging, permanent and controlling soul in living beings. For once the identity is defined precisely, it becomes closed by rejecting whatever does not come within the lines drawn.
—the harbinger

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