Many centuries ago, a Thai monastery housed an immense and beautiful golden statue of Buddha. After news of an invasion by the Burmese army, however, the monks sought to protect the statue from thievery and destruction. They covered the Golden Buddha with 8-12 inches of plastered clay, hoping the warriors would have no desire to steal a seemingly worthless sculpture. The monks’ noble efforts worked, but they were slaughtered in the raid, leaving the secret of the statue to remain hidden for another two centuries. Here is the story of the golden Buddha.
In 1957, the monastery was relocating to make room for the construction of a new motorway. Its monks arranged for a crane to transport their “clay” Buddha. When the crane began to lift the statue, however, it was much heavier than anticipated—and it began to crack. During this process (and with the help of a little chiseling), the monks came to realize the layers of old, hardened clay were hiding a spectacular golden statue of infinite worth.
The statue now resides in the Temple of the Golden Buddha in Bangkok, Thailand. Every year, millions of people visit the magnificent work and even worship at its feet. If it weren’t for a little serendipity and the inevitable winds of change, the gold statue might never have been freed from the clay suffocating its brilliance. No one would bear witness to its majesty. So what does this mean to the typical yogi?
The story speaks to the importance of shedding the hardening, darkening layers we acquire throughout our lives to reveal our true inner radiance. Let’s take a look at how mastering the lessons of The Story of the Golden Buddha can lead to a lighter, brighter life.
Many interpreters say the Golden Buddha’s clay represents the continuous pileup of life’s burdens, which develop naturally over time—the things that calcify us with weight that becomes normal for us to bear, even comfortable. It’s only upon removing the monotonous layers that we realize the actual lightness of our center.
At the root of the root and the core of the core, your spirit is gold. You were born that way. Think back to the lighthearted days of childhood: you knew nothing else but to live and love in technicolor. Somewhere inside, that sense of exuberance still exists. It’s up to you to find it. It calls for continuous soul scrubbing (read: yoga and meditation) to remove the everyday buildup that tarnishes your glow. Is anything more worthwhile?
We’re all hiding something. Often, it’s our best and most priceless asset (even if we don’t know quite what that is yet). Search for it. Unveil it. Trust yourself enough to let it shine forth. Trust that others will be thrilled to receive it. How else will you find your tribe? Once you spot that glimmer of gold, you’ll never want to hide under heavy clay again. Break free and radiate.
On your quest for inner gold, don’t miss the chance to wear it out in the open. The Inspired by Stephanie Rose Collection features a radiant line of Golden Buddha attire that will brighten up any room you walk into.
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