Jun 11, 2023
Michael Haggiag

17. Enlightenment


Siddhartha faces his final test under the Bodhi tree.



Siddhartha is reaching the last frontier. He’s like the Gingerbread Man. His body is disappearing in the deep waters of his mind a little bit at a time. And his mind is dissolving into the great ocean of the universe. He is everyone and everything. He sees births and deaths -  his own and others – over and over again but he sees that they are birth and death in appearance only. All living things are like waves in the ocean, forever changing their shape but always the same. Now Mara appears in person. Here at last. Unmasked!  It’s the final test.

He challenges Siddhartha:


“What right have you to escape my kingdom?”


But Siddhartha is not afraid.

“Oh jailer, I see your face clearly! You will build no more prisons around me.”


So Mara tries a different approach.


“Get up from your seat! It doesn’t belong to   you. It’s mine.”

Siddhartha is unmovable.


                                    “ You are Mara, but you’re not enlightened.

  You make no efforts to free yourself. You

  perform no deeds of compassion.”


Mara denies Siddhartha’s accusations and tells his army to back him up. “Mara tells the truth!” they roar.  Mara then challenges Siddhartha to find a witness of his own, but Siddhartha just points to the earth beneath his feet and the earth gives an even bigger roar. That’s because the earth is the dharma, the law of the universe that Siddhartha has discovered. This is the way things really are. Siddhartha Gautama - the prince, the ascetic and the samana  - has disappeared. In his place there now sits the Buddha, the Awakened One.

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