How A Squirrel Became A Source Of Inspiration For Lord Buddha

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India is a land where many great personalities have been born since time immemorial. Great personalities who were equally versed in all the disciplines have enlightened the path of millions. Lord Buddha is one amongst them; he gave birth to a new religion and a new meaning to the life of millions.

But ever wondered where these teachers, who are an inspiration for many, drew inspiration from? Well, it is nature. Nature is not only a source of living but of learning as well. It offers a lot to learn, but not everybody has the divine eyes to see the way it teaches us. A hard penance and lot of work with the inner self, with the soul, is needed in order to seek inspiration from nature, and yet more hard work to reach the stage of enlightenment.

A Message to Buddha from a Squirrel

Buddha Seeking Meditation

There is one story which describes how Lord Buddha drew inspiration from a squirrel. The story goes back to a time soon after Lord Buddha took to renunciation and left for mediation in the woods. He had initially begun with hard fasts and sacrifices, as a method of realisation of the truth of life and knowledge of the self.

When not satisfied with this method, he became the disciple of a saint. He studied for some time with him but finally felt unsatisfied with this as well.

Later he accepted that mediation was the best way if one has to know about the self. He practised deep meditation for years and gained enlightenment on the day of Purnima while sitting under the Bodh Gaya tree.

A Squirrel Near The Lake

However, he went through difficulties before reaching enlightenment. There was a day when he was really tired, for he was unable to find satisfaction anywhere. In desperation, he sat beside a lake. As he was a nature lover, he sat there observing the divine beauty of nature and found a good escape in that.

Deep in thoughts, he saw a squirrel running beside the bank of the lake with a nut in her mouth. At once, he smiled at the little creature, who was happy having found good food for the day.

The Squirrel Dropped The Nut Into The Water

But just the next moment, the squirrel dropped the nut and it fell into the lake. Startled for a while, the squirrel should have started panicking. Instead, she quickly jumped into the water. Now, this was something really surprising for Lord Buddha. He saw that the squirrel came out and wiped the water off her body.

She again jumped into the water and came back and wiped the water off. The squirrel went on doing this, believing she could dry out the entire lake this way and then will be able to take out the nut she had dropped.

Buddha thought how foolish an act she was doing, for it was impossible for the squirrel to empty the lake that way. But the constant effort she had been making, for sure, won the heart of Buddha.

Squirrel's Constant Efforts Inspired Buddha

He realised that while such a small creature can have the willpower to try to soak the water of the huge lake, why should men fear from failure? He had, by now, understood that he should not stop his efforts to attain enlightenment, since it was an achievable thing for humans in contrast to the squirrel trying to dry up an entire lake.

Interesting Facts About Ravana

The incident became an inspiration for Buddha and he once again sat for deep meditation under the shady tree, besides the lake, with the squirrel in his mind and the ultimate supreme power, God, in his heart, this time with even more dedication.

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    Read more about: spirituality buddha stories buddhism
    Story first published: Tuesday, July 3, 2018, 14:30 [IST]
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