The most noble truth amongst the 4 , which Buddhism preaches is that 'attachment is the root cause of all suffering' .I can’t decide whether to appreciate the simplicity , or the complexity of this statement. It took me a few years , number of books, a small amount of research, some “enlightened” people and hands-on exposure (ouch ! ) to realize that why everyone from parmhansa to osho invented the same recipe to moksha.Recently, I witnessed something that made me think of a slightly different version of this noble truth .
Waiting for my friend on the station, I was busy preparing a mental list of what to shop , where to shop and plunder as much as possible with my limited resources. An unkempt malnourished middle aged man, stinking of a mixture of sweat and ammonia in oversized clothes came and sat right next to me. My reflex - a disgusted look and an intentionally rude, audible “tch ” , before I occupied another bench nearby. I later noticed that he was a blind fellow and the guilt pinched me hard.
He was holding a yellow/ now black bag close to himself with his two arms wrapped around it – staring into the darkness, closely watching the void with his fictional eyes. He then lit up a beedi , holding it between his third and fourth fingers , thick end inwards , followed by deep drags . He seemed to be in bottomless thoughts, his head tilted in an angle as if sensing everything around him.
He took a half-torn piece of paper, and scribbled something on it, or attempted to do so. To check whether the pen worked - he held the paper close to his nose and smelt the paper, then the tip of the pen- one by one for 20 odd pens and bundled them together .They were cheap plastic pens – fluorescent green and shocking pink – which u and me will never buy.
The train approached, he headed towards it making his way through the crowd. Each individual in isolation would have been keen to the poor guy, but when the same individuals make the crowd – cruelty creeps in. He was pushed and yelled at, was given those contemptuous looks when he brushed against anyone- the same treatment which I gave him moments ago .
He managed to board the train and tried to earn his evening bread through those cheap 20 pens, which he made sure worked, but about which no one really cared. His feeble life, a hopeless one …
I wondered why the effort to cling on to such a fragile life after all? “To attain moksha give up attachment with happiness.” ----In this case where was happiness in first place to be attached to?
Each noble truth has an answer in spirituality, but there needs to be one more truth and one more answer.
Why In spite of utmost suffering, there is utmost attachment? Or is it because of utmost suffering, there is utmost attachment? .I wish there was a recipe to overcome just this only inconvenient truth – of life, in life!