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The little piece of paper - A brief visit with Buddhism

Anand - Thu, 01 Dec 2005 23:20:30 +0530
While in NY City last week, I was taken by Krsna Balarama Swami to a visit with a Budhist temple in Chinatown. It was my first time in a Budhist temple, really, despite all I like to believe I know of that tradition. The temple is home to an immense, (and according to KB swami) historic golden deity of Buddha. For a first timer like me, it was a true wonderful form to behold, warm and ready, like a flame calmly consuming all doubts of unresolved concerns. In front of the altar a large kiln-like urn was filled with little yellow rolled up pieces of paper bound by red rubber bands. A sign attached to the bowl invited pilgrims to exchange a dollar for a printed fortune. My trade read, “Your path is firmly traced, there are no dangers in your future. You are protected by all sides, and the front is open to your will. Be patient, your heart is housed, your future happy”. “Humm, not bad”, I thought, “reassurance is playing its game quite well”. But even as the Buddha burned quietly and unchecked, and even as my fortune was an offer one could not reject, inside myself the ice-like mountain of fate, my fate, wasn’t trading anything. Not for a mountain of smiling gold, nor for a mere one dollar bill. “Your path is not negotiable”, a smiling face of another color whispered in my ear. And I thought, “I know, I know all about Buddhism: it is no use, the answers are right, and even the colors match the cutting edge decoration of my living room! But I am a follower of uncertainty. I am a devotee of Krishna.” So its always time to leave. I put my fortune back in the bowl, and left my dollar behind.
tri-sandhyam - Fri, 02 Dec 2005 00:14:03 +0530
That is some great writing, Anand.

But I am a follower of uncertainty.

If I were out for existential certainty I would not go to Buddhism. Not even if I was the only person on earth and Buddhism the last path out there.
Anand - Fri, 02 Dec 2005 00:33:33 +0530
Buddhism is a fire-breathing red dragon burning to ashes any willing moth-like soul. A sure fire that estinguishes pain.