Yettie is a wonderful blogger; His words well-chosen and to the point, and his content heartwarming. It is not the first time I have been so moved by his words, and hopefully will not be the last either. His latest post is about people, who has touched his mind and rendered it gold. He is talking about people who are not related by blood, but has remained close to his heart. And as always human kindness is the core of his thought.
He is talking about childhood friends and distant cousins and standard issue wayfarers. People, who for us regular mortals are rather common and thus under-appreciated, are his topic. These are the people who have touched his heart profoundly. But, an uneasy surprise is the pen pal on death row. It is someone, he agrees, who deserves his fate, which puts him apart from the rest of the list in my eye, and yet who again is just a sacrifice to the social paradigm of law and order. This person in his own words, "...is that after all this time locked in a tiny cell for up to twenty three hours a day, waiting for his day to die, he is alive. His mind is beautiful, quirky, happy. His imagination is unreal. He is funny and serious. He is human. And above all, he has grown up. He just needed a chance to be himself, and out of all that anger, hurt, pain and evil, a wonderful individual is there." Not a regular Joe you meet in the market!
I don't know this person. All that I have about him is this blog post. Yet, I can feel the desperation and the pain just as clearly. It is the common human consciousness that is providing the necessary empathy in this case. But, unlike most of us, Yettie is capable of amplifying that feeling a thousand times. He seems to have a faster connection with better bandwidth to the collective unconscious! lol! I envy him. But, the question is, "Do I really need to?"
In the picture above, we are seeing a tender young man, aristocratically dressed, seated in a leisurely fashion upon a lotus. Avalokiteswara, Lord who looks down, is the name of a Bodhisatva. A Bodisatva is a being on the path of righteousness. It learns the true path through millions and millions of lifetimes in different bodies and different worlds. They learn about the pains and sufferings of Samsara through each and every one of their lives and lives of their loved ones. All that knowledge is stored in the Bodhimanjusha, a sort of a locker for knowledge, and when they attain Buddhahood, that knowledge becomes instantaneously accessible. Avalokiteswara is one such Bodhisatva, the one who learns through compassion. His is the path of mercy. He has millions of hands and each hand is reaching out to support a dimension of sentient beings in suffering. This guy lives to help those in need.
I love this particular allegory of Avalokiteswara. According to Buddhist thoughts, we all are striving Bodhisatvas in our own way. In each of our crimes, our failures, our successes, our desires, our anger and frustrations and actions and inactions, everything is propelling us towards that goal of enlightenment. Yet, we are so engrossed in our own lives, we have forgotten to see the bigger picture. We have forgotten that id-password for that eternal knowledge. But, Avalokiteswara is continually telling us the answer. It is Kindness, simple human kindness, that we have forgotten. Human beings are only better than others because they can feel empathy, because they can recognize the other's sufferings and do their best to alleviate it. Whatever be the social position of the other person, his financial status, his educational capability, everybody needs a hug, a simple shoulder, a warm nonjudgmental affective smile. And that is Yettie's message. In a way he is reminding us the words of all the ancient enlightened beings. The same words etched in eternity, Love thy neighbor as thyself. I can quote each and every ancient tome saying the same thing. Unfortunately, that also shows how this clear universal understanding is still beyond our reach. But, with more people like Yettie, we can still sense a beacon of hope in the distant future, when all of humankind shall band under one banner of love and fellowship. That is the day when the Kingdom of Heaven shall truly descend amongst us. Thank you Yettie for the simple reminder. God bless you. Hugs and Chocolates.