Begging me to bless this monk1I never, never intended to bless Trishatur’s monk-friend.2 He is a Buddhist monk, and he has taken the vow of renunciation. But inwardly somebody said to me, “Please bless my son.”
I said, “It will not be proper. How can I bless him?”
I clearly saw that the Lord Buddha was begging me to bless this monk, because the Lord Buddha knows who I am. The monk is so nice, and I am so fond of him, but when I asked him, “May I bless you?” he said, “No.”
I said to the Lord Buddha, “You see, I was right.”
But again, I was so proud of the monk, because he was doing the right thing in his own way. The Lord Buddha, knowing who I am, wanted me to bless him. But I was right — the monk did not allow me to bless him. I looked at him when we were standing face to face. With such compassion I was blessing him inwardly. I said, “Lord Buddha, the higher world and this world do not go together.”
He has followed his tradition, and in that way he has done absolutely the right thing. But sometimes we have to go beyond the domain of tradition so that we can make the fastest progress.
In all sincerity, it was at the Lord Buddha’s request that I wanted to bless him. I knew that his brother had not yet accepted the monk-life, so I blessed his brother. But in the case of this monk, it was far beyond my imagination. I did not have the intention to bless him, not at all, because I knew that, according to the monk’s understanding, it would not be the right thing.
I can see the Lord Buddha very clearly at any time, any second, and he wanted me to bless his son. Alas, higher wisdom does not always work with human knowledge, so what can we do? Again, I was so happy that he followed his tradition. With utmost love and compassion I blessed him inwardly. I was looking at him and pouring, pouring all my compassion and affection into him. I touched his heart. When I blessed him while looking at him, at that time I touched his heart. Absolutely unreservedly I blessed him.
I am very fond of him, very fond of him. The other day, how he grabbed me when I came out of the car, at the gate! He grabbed me from behind like a child. He was so happy and thrilled to see me!
For him and his monk-friends it was a very new experience, and for us as well. Trishatur is the synthesis, the bridge between the monk’s austerity and our modernism.
OOP 6. 4 January 2002, Inter-Continental Hotel, Phnom Penh, Cambodia↩
OOP 6,1. As a United Nations staff member, Trishatur served with the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia for 18 months, from 1992-1993. He became a friend of many monks there before returning to his post at UN Headquarters in New York.↩