Today I will tell what I did in order to acquire knowledge. You are well aware that right from the time I was born into the royal family, speculations were rife that I would become a Sanyasi (Sage). So, my father created an environment whereby the very thought of becoming a Sanyasi would never occur to me. He placed me under house arrest in a palace filled with wine and women. And I even got addicted to all this. Was there a life other than this? If there was, I was completely unaware of it.
But times changed. On growing up, I saw some sick people and a funeral procession. I was left startled. If the body was prone to sickness and life had to come to an end, then what is the meaning of this short life? So, to seek out the answer to my question, I ran away from home the same night. Now, the true meaning of life can only be explained by the hermits and sages. Thinking thus, I began to roam around them. But what would they do? Some would hand out mantras andothers, recommended rites; some suggested poojas while others, scriptures. The years were passing by, and yet, in the name of knowledge nothing came into my hands.
During this time, I had even made five new friends. And together with them, I too renounced food and water in the hope of attaining knowledge. However, this didn’t last for long and I became thin as a stick. But I had to know the truth about life, so happily, I bore this difficulty too. And yet, instead of improving, my situation went from bad to worse. Due to my body not supporting me, life became less enjoyable. So, I stopped fasting and began to eat properly. It’s a simple fact, the world only exists if you do. My friends on the other hand thought that Gautama had deviated from The Path; they left my side. Let them! For I too had left everyone. I had already left my family and the royal life, and now, I added the sages, hermits and my search for knowledge to that list. Now, simply eat, drink and roam carefree…
Just when I was wandering around, as I sat under the tree which you know as the ‘Bodhi Tree’ (Peepal Tree), all of a sudden I attained Enlightenment. The Truth emerged! So now, I sincerely shared my experiences with everybody. At that time in India, only the Hindu religion existed. And I had achieved Enlightenment after forsaking the scriptures, all the mantras and shlokas, and rites and rituals; and because I ate well and maintained a healthy body. The truth of life is also this, where not only desire, relationships, yearning for wealth and respect are attachments, but scriptures, mantras, rites and God are also attachments. …On the contrary, He is an even deeper and greater attachment. And with the subsequent compassion that grew in my heart after I attained Enlightenment, how could I see anyone ruining their lives with such attachments? I tried a lot to not only deliver them from their attachment to status, prestige and relationships but also religion, scriptures and God. As this was against Hinduism I faced a lot of opposition, but what is right is right…and this is the truth!
If I were to leave all this aside, even then the point is that I attained enlightenment 2500 years ago, I became free; but when will you become free? To help you gain freedom, I have compassionately narrated the entire story of my transformation from Gautama to Buddha. I am awaiting you with open arms; free yourself from all attachments and join my rank.
– Deep Trivedi