#28: Why Buddhahood?

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Not exactly how Buddha levitated...


It is very important for us to know why we want to become a Buddha. If you think it is to make yourself happier, to make money fall down from the sky, to command more respect and greater adulation, to gather more friends and fans…not only are they not the right motivation, but you will not make it because they are not the causes of Buddhahood.

The main cause of Buddhahood is bodhicitta. It must come from the purest level of compassion. It must come from our wish to become a super doctor with a huge heart, so that we can acquire special wisdom, skills and powers. Why? To be most effective when helping all living beings unconditionally.

Ordinary abilities and knowledge cannot eradicate all suffering. The best medicine in this universe cannot cure us of old age, illness and death. The most advanced technology in this world cannot stop us from losing our body at death. All our friends and loved ones cannot help us overcome our fears of loss and loneliness. The best of human endeavour can only get as far as the moon…so in our present state, how can we help sentient beings in the ten directions (and not forgetting those in the different planes of existence)?

What's the big deal about going to the moon, when even cows can do it too?

A complete mastery of science and art cannot help us at the time of death. All the money and treasures of this world cannot buy us a passport to a good rebirth. Whatever it is, however much we want to help people, in our present state we will hit a wall eventually and our altruistic aspiration will be shown to be mere wishful thinking.

However, this limitation, this wall, disappears if we become a Buddha.

What’s the big deal about looking real cool with long ears, an extra eye, funky hair and being able to walk without touching the ground?

Well, those ears can tune in to the cries and pleas of our mothers from all of our past lives, from all of existence. This existence is vast – it has been described by black hole expert Professor Stephen Hawking as the infinite planets seen and unseen, known and unknown, in different dimensions of time and space…but in our present state, we can’t even hear beyond the four walls of our room!

Then there’s that extra eye, which is symbolically depicted in Buddha pictures as the third eye between our two ordinary ones. Also known as our inner wisdom eye, it can see or perceive events spanning the three times of past, present and future. Now that is really seeing far and wide…but in our present state, even with the Hubble telescope as our spectacles, we are no match to what a Buddha can see.

When it comes to hovering above ground, it isn’t just about special effects. Hovering above ground prevents us from stepping on creepy crawlies and causing suffering to others. Killing living beings all the time while we are trying to save them is not very logical.

In case you did not notice, Buddha also has a big protuberance on top of his head accompanied by cute hair curls. It is said this is due to the vast amount of wisdom and knowledge that he possesses – like a zillion libraries stored inside his head. Actually his head is not the real attraction. It is what is inside – his mind – that is truly beautiful and exciting. It is what makes him the unsurpassed doctor of all ills. It is what enables him to dispense the most efficacious medicine, the real cure for all of us.

With this mind, Dr Buddha doesn’t just provide temporary relief of suffering, but the real antidote to all suffering. Botox will not reverse old age; antibiotics, vitamins and ginseng will not prevent death.

Buddha’s vehicle, the Mind ship, will take us beyond death, beyond wherever the Starship Enterprise travelled to, beyond our wildest imagination.

NEXT: The most beautiful mind – the enlightened mind

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