THE LIFE OF THE BUDDHA (India) CAST:
The Buddha gains Enlightenment.
O my friends “all is perfection” . . .I thought, “all is . . .generosity,” when I lived so . . .innocently so sweetly OM in my childhood home.
And I’d wake up . . .rejoicing (dear people) amazed . . .at my good fortune.
“I am beloved” . . .I would cry. “I am adored . . .absolutely.”
Until one day (my companions)
I discovered . . .abandoned OM a delicate snow-bird
bloodied was this animal disfigured . . . was this glorious bird.
And I shook visibly . . .my good people. OM I wept. And I cried: “Gods! What is this . . .death OM that takes us so cruelly? What is this . . .darkness that sullies our . . .lives?”
And I couldn’t . . .my friends OM continue my . . .enjoyments
for heartsick . . .I was, distraught.
“All is sadness” . . .I concluded. “All is . . .despair.”
And on that very night . . .my children on that very . . .evening I abandoned OM the home of my childhood. My parents . . . I abandoned, the friends of my . . .youth, as I rushed out . . .lamenting (“O Heavens!”) this terrible life. And everywhere I went . . .dear children OM everywhere I roamed, I found present . . .always this brooding sorrow.
I found lurking . . .always this loathsome despair.
For on everything . . .fell the shadow of darkness, OM for on everything . . .fell the visage of death.
And I cried out: â€œHow shameful . . .my gods! How disreputable! OM For doomed is all . . . . . .sweet hallowed existence, for dread is all . . . . . .sweet shimmering life.
For even the sun . . . . . .must sink in the evening. And even the stars . . .
must fall from the sky.â€?
And in sorrow did I live my darlings OM in wretched . . .despair.
Until I came at last (o children) (o lovely companions) OM to a towering . . .Bo Tree to a Bo Tree . . .resplendent OM that shaded a . . .hill.
And its leaves OM were so fragrant . . .dear listeners, (and its shadows . . . OM
. . . .so wonderfully deep)
that I sank down beside it (dear companions) and vowed never to leave.
“O splendid Bo Tree” . . .I cried OM “o delectable . . .friend, act now . . . OM . . .as my final companion. For here I shall . . .sit and travel no more.” And so I sat through the . . .daytime, (dear children) and through that terrible night.
And that long day . . .passed. OM And then another long day.
And the storm-clouds . . .gathered. (and in I . . .breathed)
And the high winds . . .whistled. OM (and out I . . .breathed)
And the sunlight . . .vanished. OM And the field grass . . .greyed.
(and in I . . .breathed) (and out I . . .breathed)
And when the heavens . . .rumbled (so softly I breathed). And when the lightning bolts . . .splintered OM (so sweetly I breathed).
And my breathing . . .then
OM began to delight me.
So slowly I . . .breathed, so deliciously.
And I thought to myself: â€œHow sweet and . . .pleasing is my lovely breathing. OM The air like an ocean . . . expanding my rib cage. OM The air like a . . .river trickling free.â€?
And I breathed through my nostrils, OM and I breathed through my . . .skin.
And when danger approached me. . .
so slowly I breathed.
And when sorrow engulfed me . . . . . . so sweetly I breathed. Until all was in . . .silence. OM All was at . . . peace.
My breath slowly . . .rising OM My breath slowly . . .falling. And I thought to myself: â€œHoly, O holy . . .is this beautiful living.
Holy the movement of on-rushing life.â€?
And I accepted the presence . . . . . .of menacing sorrow. OM
And the terrible spectre. . . . .of ravaging death.
And I shouted out . . .”Jaya! Jaya! Sweet victory! Sweet victory! All life is a river! All life is a stream!
Forever it rushes! Forever it flows!”
And I looked to the sky, OM and the snow-birds were . . .rising. And I smiled (my good darlings). I laughed.
And I cried again . . .”Jaya!
Jaya! Victory! Victory!”
O holy . . .existence! OM O immeasurable . . .breath! OM Triumphant is living! OM Triumphant is life!”