"The strings of the veena (a musical instrument) should not be so loose that its melodies don't tighten them so much that they get broken." It was a thought provoking sentence that set the path of Nirvana for Gautam Buddha. Based on this statement, Mahatma Buddha put forth the formula of the middle path in front of Mankind, which came to be known as the most significant ideal of Buddhism. It is said that after enlightenment, Buddha gave his first instructionto the group of five ascetics in Varanasi, which came to be famously known as "Dhamm Chakk Pavattan" or "Dharma Chakra Pravartanaaya". In this speech, Mahatma Buddha described "Middle Path" and said-
"Seeker shouldn't practice these two extremes- one, getting completely engrossed in the pleasure of lust; two, torturing oneself through terrible perseverance. The extreme of both is disastrous. Leaving both the extremes, I (Buddha) have attained Perfect Knowledge through the ' Middle Path', which is the provider of the eye (of wisdom), and the medium to attain Nirvana."
Lord Krishna explains the same to Arjuna in the Bhagwat Gita-
Naatyashnatastu yogosti na
na chaati swapnasheelasya
jaagrato naiva chaarjuna.
O Arjuna, this (Brahm Gyan) path is not availed by the one who eats a lot or who fasts a lot; neither by the one who sleeps a lot , nor the one who always remains awake.
yogo bhavati dukhahaa.
This yogic science (Brahm Gyan based meditation) that destroys miseries, is availed by the one who has right and balanced lifestyle; and not by the one who sleeps and awakes in excess.
On the occasion of Buddha Jayanti, let's read this historic tale, which is based on the "Middle Path".
How surprising is this... On one hand, the disciple was engrossed in the thoughts of materialistic pleasure; on the other hand, the Guru was thinking about the welfare of the disciple. The storm of lust was raging in the mind of disciple; while in the vision of the Guru was, however, both enthusiastic and alert. Scenes of worldly happiness surfaced in front of the disciple. But, the Guru could clearly see sadness ingrained in the world for his disciple. The disciple wanted to run away, while the Guru wanted to be with him. Well, who would understand such depth? When life becomes like the autumn, the Guru rains as the shower of monsoon. At the turn of life, when the evening begins to appear, the Guru manifests as the ray of dawn.
King Shaurna was such a disciple whose life's sun has set in the abyss of materialism.... King Shaurna, who inherited the legacy of his grandfather and great- grandfather, did not understand the value of the comforts he revelled in. They rather made him a debauchee. Paying less attention to the political affairs of the kingdom and spending more time with female slaves and alcohol- that was his lifestyle. He was not interested to the least in social or welfare activities. He considered them a dull affair. History tells that he was so lustful that there were no wooden or iron pillers on the sides of staircase of his bedroom; rather young and beautiful damsels used to stand there in a queue, leaning on whom he used to reach his bedroom in a drunken state. Also, he was so fond of eating that he always had a physician present beside him, at the time of eating food. On consuming one dish fully, he asked the physician to give him some medicine so that he could vomit out the food to empty his stomach, and then gobble more and more. How? To read the complete article of monthly magazine of English Akhand Gyan Apr'2018.