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DateLine Sunday, 18 May 2008

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I wish...

I wish in Buddha's time I lived, knelt at His sacred feet,
Sought comfort in His serenity, basked in His radiance,
Rejoiced in His discourse, logical, compassionate,
Appealed to Him for counsel wise, gloried in His presence.

I wished I walked the paths He trod, the shady groves He loved,
Shared the warmth He gladly gave to the world's helpless ones,
His theory of impermanence, with superb skill conceived,
I wish I learnt when He did preach by cool Himalayan streams.

The clarity of His speech and vision I wish I gathered first-hand,
Yielding answers to numerous ills of even modern man,
The kindness great He displayed both no friend and foe,
I've only heard of, never seen, greater is my woe.

God-like He was, yet claimed He not immortal power divine,
To other faiths be respectful, His followers He enjoined,
Feel free to think, be free to query, He urged men far and wide,
I wish I were His pupil then and He my master-guide.

I wish I had the fortune great to worship at His feet,
To lie prostrate and pay homage with flowers and incense sweet,
To listen as soothing sublime words flowed from His noble lips,
To comfort suffering mankind, show way to eternal bliss.

Warning against ignorance, which to craving leads,
Endorsing the Middle Path, avoiding all extremes,
Pointing out what self-reliance, mental purity means,
Embracing with a boundless love, all living sentient beings.

His message spread like summer lightning, no blood was ever shed,
Men of wisdom, intellect, bowed low in veneration,
Across the seas in diverse lands were former faiths renounced,
Splendid days they were indeed, I wish I was around.

A moral code, a philosophy deep, relevant for all time
Conforming to laws of modern science, giving pre-eminence to mind,
Taught Gotama Buddha, perfect teacher, in matchless brilliant style,
How I wish that I did live in those glorious times!

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