the Senses is the Highest Sadhana
Once a Pundit challenged Buddha to enter
into a debate with him. The terms were that if he was the
loser, he would follow Buddhism along with his 3000 disciples
and serve Buddha lifelong. But, if Buddha was the loser, it
would be obligatory on his part to become a follower of the
Pundit. Buddha smilingly said, "Pundita
Samadarshina” (a true Pundit is one who has equal?mindedness).
A true Pundit makes no distinction between the dualities of
life, such as pain and pleasure, joy and sorrow. A person
with anger and ego is unfit to be called a Pundit. In pilgrim
centres such as Haridwar, Rishikesh, Badrinath, Kedarnath
and Amarnath, you find Pandas
who give Mantras that would grant liberation to the departed
souls. These Pandas cannot be
called Pundits. In this world, there are many who have gone
through sacred texts. The knowledge of the Self cannot be
acquired by mere scholarship or by sitting at the feet of
a guru. There are many who go through voluminous books, but
is there a person who practises at least one teaching? When
you spend all your life in reading, when are you going to
practise it? Scholarship bereft of practice is futile.
thus, Buddha silenced the Pundit and advised him to shun the
pride and ego of his scholarship. He told the Pundit not to
get carried away by the worldly knowledge. He exhorted him
to acquire and practise divine knowledge and surrender to
God. Buddha said, "I undertook spiritual practice for
a long time and went through various sacred texts in quest
of knowledge of the Self. Ultimately, I realised that mastering
the senses is essential for acquiring knowledge of the Self.
The five senses are the gift of God. Make proper use of them.
Only then you can realise the Self. What is the use of going
through sacred texts and undertaking spiritual practices without
proper utilisation of the five senses? I have controlled the
five senses and put them on the right path, as a result of
which I am experiencing bliss."
Buddha attained Nirvana
by controlling his five senses and making proper use of them.
What is Nirvana? It is nothing
but merger in bliss. Water bubble is born in water, is sustained
in water and ultimately merges in it; likewise, human being
is born in bliss, is sustained in bliss and ultimately merges
in it. Bliss can be experienced by controlling the five senses.
This is the true Sadhana. Mere chanting of Lord's name will
not suffice. First and foremost, the senses have to be controlled.
At the time of attaining Nirvana,
Buddha saw his cousin, Ananda, shedding tears. He called him
near and said, "Ananda, true to your name, you should
experience Ananda (bliss). You should never shed tears of
sorrow. You are the embodiment of Ananda. All of us are embodiments
of Brahma." Saying so, Buddha put his hand on Ananda
and attained Nirvana.