In the present times, we get to see an attitude of fierce competition in every field. Often, in the craze for snatching a higher position, competition turns into an ugly rivalry. However, the following incident from the Buddhist repositories comes as an inspiration to imbibe the spirit of healthy competition.
Once, Buddha was crossing the Sal forest, along with a large group of monks. There, at a particular spot, Buddha stopped and a mysterious smile spread on his countenance. When Ananda noticed it, he, at once, asked- " O revered Master! None of your actions and gestures are without a meaning. Certainly, there is a great massage behind your divine smile. Kindly bless us O Tathagata by throwing light on the same."
Buddha said, "Dear Ananda, the place where we are standing, once had one of the powerful cities existing on it, where the reverend, enlightened Kassapa dwelled. Kassapa had a lay disciple, Gavesin, who seemed to have a great influence on the people around. Walking on the lines of Gavesin, 500 people of the city were motivated to tread the path of spirituality. They also, therefore, sought the refuge of the holy Kassapa. Although Gavesin was the one who became an inspiration for these 500 people; however, the truth was that Gavesin himself did not abide by the commandments of his Master Kassapa in toto. At times, he discounted the instructions of the Master, as per his convenience. He became casual in adhering to the discipline as was guided by Kassapa.
One day, as can be said to be his good fortune, a thought struck him, "So many people, 500 of them, moved to seek refuge of Kassapa after watching me going to him. I was an inspiration for them to take this step in their lives. However, am I really carrying that spiritual status from inside, that they take me as their leader among the followers of the Great Master? Definitely not! I myself do not follow the instructions of the Master. His teachings haven't percolated my being to the extent they should have been. I can hardly count any day when I behaved as a truly disciplined disciple of my Master. In such a scenario, I am certainly not capable to be viewed as their leader. In order to really be the one, I myself have to take the lead and imbibe the commandments of the Master to the fullest. I have to fulfill them to the best of my capability and sincerity. I need to discipline myself as much as I can, in following the spiritual practice that Kassapa has guided us."...
... A prayer sprouted from the core of Gavesin's being- "I was fortunate to be deluged with the supreme treasure by the Master, without any difficulty. May those 500 people also become fortunate to attain what I have got from my Master!"
...The Master was in fact waiting to shower his grace on them as well. ...
How did it happen that Gavesin who himself is not following his Guru Kassapa’s path, led 500 people also attain his Holy Abode? To know this and furthermore, read the complete article in Mar’19 edition of Akhand Gyan Monthly Magazine!