The Miraculous Lamp

The Miraculous Lamp

Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds; and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue. ~ Buddha

Virtue comes from the Heart, not the head. The problem with most of us is that we live by what makes logical sense from the human prejudices that we inherited. These prejudices are both racial and from our intellectual. How we learn to use our minds its impulses are genetic prejudice. To be willing to separate from our genetics and see them for what they are takes great courage. This kind of courage sustains the virtue of the Heart.

Please remember that the Heart is totally different from the mind. The mind, without meditation as its premise, thinks from the rationale of human prejudice. Thoughts are all prejudicial. Our thoughts of “good” and “bad,” all based in the prejudice of our human heredity and foolish pride about our ancestry, serve as a barrier to realizing the beauty that lives within…just beyond our genetic traits.

Love is the Way, and the Way that is Love blossoms through virtue. ~ Siraj

Virtue occurs when a person is willing to sacrifice their personal will for that of living in the Way, sidestepping their ego and the fears of the body to make virtue possible. This requires great discipline.

I offer to you this sacred Zen scripture as a humble depiction of the grace of virtue.

Buddhist scripture chronicles the legend of “The Miraculous Lamp.” As the story goes, one day an old beggar woman saw soldiers pushing many carts full of barrels of oil and garish lamps. When she asked the soldiers about them, she learned that King Ajatashatru wanted to offer the oil lamps to the Buddha and the Sangha because the light they would create symbolized wisdom and enlightenment. Where there is light, darkness would vanish. Likewise, wherever the Buddha and the Sangha is, hatred and sin will disappear.

Upon hearing this the old beggar woman thought, “It took thousands of years for the Buddha to manifest in this world. In this life I have the great fortune to meet the Buddha. Why, then, shouldn’t I make a light offering to the Buddha and the Sangha?”

She immediately reached her hand into her bag but only found two coins. She rushed to a shop to purchase a lamp and oil. Unfortunately, the two coins would only buy her two tablespoons of oil. However, when the old woman told the story about the Buddha to the shop keeper, he was delighted and gave her another three tablespoons of oil, and loaned her a lamp. Joyfully, the old beggar woman immediately went to the Jetavana Monastery in order to make a lamp offering to the Buddha before darkness fell.

When she arrived at the Jetavana Monastery, she saw an assortment of exquisite oil lamps burning brightly and lighting up the entire Monastery. She heard gentle, rhythmic music playing as courtiers, soldiers, and devotees paid their respects and praised the merits of the Buddha and the Sangha.

As the crowds continued to mindfully and respectfully offer their lamps to the Buddha, the old woman stepped aside and, with mindful respect, polished her oil lamp. As she was pouring the oil into the lamp she quietly prayed, “I humbly offer this light to the Buddha and the Sangha. My only wish is that I too will attain the full wisdom just like the Buddha in the ten directions.”

She acknowledged her modest offering as she thought, “With only this small amount of oil, this lamp will probably burn out by midnight.” Despite this, she made her offering with sincere faith as she thought, “If I truly attain my heart’s desire of Full Enlightenment, may this lamp forever burn and never go dark.””

After the old beggar woman made the vow, she hung the lamp on a tree, and immediately entered the monastery where she paid homage to the Buddha and left the Monastery.

All of the oil lamps that were offered by the king required that the soldiers take turns in order to fill the oil and change the wicks. This was necessary in order to make sure that the lamps wouldn’t burn out. Even with this effort, very few of the oil lamps were able to stay lit throughout the night. Some were blown out by the wind, and others simply burned out.

But the lamp that the old beggar woman had lit, even though it was hung outside on a tree, it still was burning brightly into the next morning.

As the sun rose that next morning the Buddha asked Maudgalyayana to blow out the oil lamps, and one by one, Maudgalyayana blew out the lamps, but when he came to the old woman’s oil lamp, no matter what he did, he could not blow it out.

Just as Maudgalyayana was trying, once again, to blow out the old beggar woman’s lamp, the Buddha passed by and gently said, “My dear disciple…even you, with your psychic power, will never be able to extinguish this lamp because it burns with the merit of virtue and devotion.”

Inner work, deep cleansing work, requires a unique psyche that is proportioned in the Heart of Love. Genetic desires are disowned and a new way of living can be established; one that has to do with Life itself rather than some assumed fantasy that sustains moral beliefs of “good” and “evil.”

The bottom line to all of this is Love.

When Love becomes more important, when the discovery of Love is the meaning of our lifetime and every nuance of daily life is explored through meditation, one changes their methodology of living. ~ Siraj

This is where gratitude and kindness become deeply important. This is why I always ask my students to “let Love live them.” They understand what I am saying, but they do not comprehend the meaning of the statement. It is a statement of virtue.

It is well-advised to consider the state of our virtue for it is is the path to the Soul. Virtue is living in the Heart of goodness. Seek to realize that the only true meaning in this world is found in the virtue of the Heart and the willingness to live within it.

When mercy becomes our state of mind and the willingness to move beyond the logic and reasoning of moral beliefs has established itself within us as a way of life, virtue becomes the most important aspect of a lifetime. ~ Siraj

In this virtue we find we are more than willing to give up our ideals of having a “comfortable life,” even a “good life,” for the sake of transcendence. Authentic virtue is a matter of realizing the necessity for transcendence and not living for the acts of mere maintenance of the hereditary ego. This is a huge moment in living for all of us. Here, pride and vengeance are dissolved, fear and hate are no more an influence, and the virtue of Love becomes the only premise to live by.

Live not in the days, not in the moments…but in the PRESENCE of virtue.

There is nothing more important than the awakening of the Heart in this lifetime and then to share this with the world through our everyday life

Each day, allow yourself to let go of everything that binds you to regret and guilt - these are useless emotions from your genetic disposition

To truly awaken, it is important to never follow the desires for a “more” or “better than” - begin to live where you find yourself

Become simple - learn how to live with the inner impression of Love and sit in the shelter of the Soul

Living is about finding virtue in Life, the Authentic Life - everything else pales in comparison

  • Mary Roos
    Posted at 06:00h, 28 June Reply

    Side stepping the ego……
    In Gratitude for the tap….

  • Michael Eidsmoe
    Posted at 17:40h, 28 June Reply

    Virtue in an Authentic Life………..LOVE

    Thank you

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