Finding our Golden Buddha
In Bangkok there is a golden statue of the Buddha that stands 9’8” tall, weighs 5.5 tons and is worth approximately 250 million in its gold.
The statue was thought to be built in 1,403 and was revered by Buddhist for many hundreds of years. In 1,757 the Burmese Army was invading Thailand. Facing complete annihilation, the Buddhist monks at the monastery hastily began covering their Golden Buddha with plaster, which was painted and inlaid with bits of colored glass, to make it look of little or no value to the invading army. During the invasion all the Buddhist monks were tragically murdered, but the Golden Buddha was left undiscovered.
In 1957 an entire Monastery in Thailand was being relocated by a group of monks. One day they were moving a giant clay Buddha when one of the monks noticed a large crack in the clay. On closer investigation he saw there was a golden light emanating from the crack. The monk used a hammer and a chisel to chip away at the clay exterior until he revealed that the statue was in fact made of solid gold.
In yoga we come to the mat and often ask ourselves… “Who are we really, why am I here and where am I going?”
What this story so eloquently explains is that inside each of us, there lives a golden Buddha of light. Our purpose in life is to rediscover our Buddha for ourselves.
What happens over the course of our life is that we pile layer upon layer of clay over our own Golden Buddha. The heaviest layer of clay is of our own doing – it’s our own ego and it’s limited thinking along with our unconscious conditioning. The other layers of clay get added on from external influences (parents, schools and teachers, bosses and co-workers, society, the media, the church, government and corporations). Eventually we are so laden with clay that we forget that the Golden Buddha is there all the time.
The secret to finding our Golden Buddha, our higher purpose, lies not in the future, but in our past. All we need to do is start chipping away at the clay and rediscovering those things we were passionate about as we grew up. We reconnect with the things that first brought joy into our lives. We recall the times when we were “in the flow” and time stood still. We chip away at our clay on the yoga mat and as we get close, that golden light from within us will once again reemerge. Imagine a world where every person could return to their natural state, their Golden Buddha. Just imagine.