Praghbodhi Cave

Northeast of Bodhgaya, India is a terrain of rocky hills and brush populated by slums. Situated inside one of these hills is the Praghbodhi Cave, the place where Siddhartha Guatama was believed to have lived for 7 years among ascetics who fervently believed that poverty was the pathway to enlightenment. Here he subsisted on little, becoming emaciated and ill before departing that way of thinking and traveling towards the Bodhi Tree, his eventual experience of enlightenment.

If you time it correctly, arriving in the predawn hour, you can actually enter and spend alone time in the tiny candlelit rock chamber before the daily masses of Buddhist pilgrims arrive for worship in the monastery that now surround it.

I’ve been captivated by the energy of the small cave on my visits there. I’ve often wondered what happened within the heart and mind of Siddhartha on the day he determined, “Enough.”

What motivated him to end his allegiance to this chosen path of suffering?

Similarly, what transpires within our own lives to get us to the point of proclaiming, “Enough.” How much do we have to starve ourselves of joy and fulfillment before we will leave the people or circumstances that fail to feed these essentials?

There is an old saying, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

There will always be periods of time where we may stay or have stayed in situations that were less than optimal, sometimes even detrimental. Yet, as we grow in awareness of our worth, as we understand how we are the ones that decide on the quality of our future, are we remaining among people, beliefs and situations that do not support a visionary quest for our greater possibility – our own version of enlightenment?

The word praghbodhi when broken down means pragh (before) bodhi (enlightenment). Just like Siddhartha, we must examine our reasons for staying in our own metaphorical cave of struggle.

Only we can determine what and when the established moment of ‘enough’ will become a catalyst to move onward.