Religious Studies

Dialogue between the Buddha, Gotama and Maechi Wabi

During one of her meditation practices, Wabi is caught up into hell during her morning meditation exercise and there she converses with Gotama for an in-depth understanding of the Buddhist faith.

Wabi: Dear lord! Who are you and how did you manage to get into my room in this monastery seeing that you are a man?

Gotama: (chuckling). You can say that again for you are not wrong in addressing me as lord.

Wabi: (frowning). And what is that supposed to mean?

Gotama: Oh! Where are my manners? Accept my humble apologies my young maiden for my lack of gentlemanly behavior. My name is Siddhatta Gotama whom you commonly refer to as Buddha.

Wabi: Ha! Very funny…very funny indeed…If this is your idea of a joke you must get out as fast as you can before my screams alert the other nuns for help!

Gotama: You can scream all you can my dear because no mortal being will be able to here you in this place and certainly no one has the power to relieve you of the journey that you are about to undertake.

Wabi: (tries to scream to no avail) Where am I and what is the meaning of all this?

Gotama: That is an excellent question my dear. I see you are a bright student who catches on the drift very easily. But why wonder about your location while you truly know that you are in hell. Welcome to Sanjiva[1]!

Wabi: (tries to scream again) Hell! But why would you bring me to hell?

Gotama: Relax. This is just a visitation to one of your former lives in a period suspended in the chasm of eternity. (As he smiles to her, “blue, yellow, red and dazzlingly white rays issue forth from the mouth” (Strong 27))

Wabi: (as the light spectrums illuminate the place). You are truly my lord! Forgive me for doubting your identity.

Gotama: Oh you of little faith!

Wabi: (As she watches, the lights assemble back into the body of Buddha from the rear side). Ouch! What is happening to me? And the temperatures in here are suddenly very high…

Gotama: Stop fretting in the flames because that will not make them vanish. Do you recognize these people before you?

Wabi: Yes. They are men that I killed in my former life.

Gotama: This is Avici[2], a place where you will be tormented for your murder crimes.

Wabi: (Although in very great pain, she struggles to keep up with the conversation). You are a true judge, may it be unto me as the prerequisite of my actions.

Gotama: Very well said for I know that it is hard to be polite to someone especially when in distress. Ages before I could attain the Nirmanakaya[3], I had trouble relating to the sufferings and feelings of the humans made impossible by the Dharmakaya[4] and Sambhogakaya[5] manifestations.

Wabi: My lord, forgive me for my inquisitiveness, but do we as humans get to experience the Dharmakaya and Sambhogakaya?

Gotama: Yes, they are attainable through the peace and calm that sets one truly free. Consider this, is it not true that your current state of Dukkha[6] has been as a result of unhappy living?

Wabi: Yes.

Gotama: And what is required for this state to change?

Wabi: The attainment of Bodhi[7] as marked out by the path.

Gotama: Excellent choice of words but how then my dear maiden does the path lead to the attainment of the Bodhi?

Wabi: It is quite a diverse body of knowledge and I do not know where I shall begin my good lord….

Gotama: Okay then, let us begin with the principle of the Bodhisattva[8].

Wabi: Bodhisattva has acted as the founding grounds for the Mahayana[9] practices, whose first concept is the Prajna which is the acumen that instills mental refinement, which is needed to attain a conducive environment for spiritual imminence. The dual paths namely Ditthi[10] and Sankappa[11] govern provide the guiding instructions towards this status.

Gotama: And what about the Sila?

Wabi: The Sila refers to the state in which an individual has the ability to suppress all distasteful conducts by following the tri-path marked by the Vaca[12], Kammanta[13] and Aijiva[14].

Gotama: Identify the last category and its subsequent paths.

Wabi: The third category is the Samadhi, which denotes the acquisition of mental control primarily through meditation. It is defined by the remaining three paths namely, Vayama[15], Sati[16] and Samadhi[17].

Gotama: How ironic and hypocritical that you can identify all these fundamental principles without any struggle yet your ignorance towards them is what actually lands you into this hell! The ignorance rampant within the human race has truly led to their many forms of suffering. If only they knew the price that comes along with it!

Wabi: Forgive us for our hard headedness and the contempt that we accord to these spiritual teachings.

Gotama: Silence! All those humans who have demised beforehand have all used the same excuse and others to try and justify their futile actions that truly have led to their unending suffering! Samsara[18] therefore for you has become a necessity until you attain that required level of discipline.

Wabi:  (still in a horrified state by the outburst). I beg my lord to speak as a mere mortal would. Now that you have framed it in this light, I understand why the timeless ordinance of Karma[19] has been acting on the human race. Initially, I thought it was an unfair law but that has now changed. Perhaps am experiencing Bodhi?

Gotama: Every human starts experiencing Bodhi at one point in their life. Some however, must be given unto death before this process can be initiated. You claim that you have begun your spiritual illumination journey, but have you really perceived the reason why you were summoned to hell?

Wabi: May be not entirely, but a bit.

Gotama: Let us see if what you claim is true or false. (The scene changes to a situation in which she is within a hand reach of a beautiful woman that is being tormented by the beatings of a man).

Wabi: (noticing that the fire has ceased). Am I still in hell or is this heaven?

Gotama: Yes you are still in hell. Have you forgotten that you have not yet been perfected to a state in which you can fellowship with heavenly being? Go ahead and state what you see and the explanation that you can therefore offer to the happening.

Wabi: (laughing lightly at her foolish thoughts of being in heaven). The woman is very beautiful in her physical features and oh my! Her face resembles mine. Being a woman, she is unable to defend herself from huge man towering over her and drowning her beauty in the blows that instills cuts on parts of her face. Wait a minute! The man’s face also bears my features and that can only mean that it is me. The question that remains is why would I be beating up myself?

Gotama: That again is not for me to answer but for you to figure out. If you can crack the meaning, then your enlightenment will truly have begun.

Wabi: I am afraid to offer a response to this situation because it will truly seal the fate that will descend upon me. Yet you have shown me the true nature of that out belief system holds and so I will rely on Karma to guide me through this evaluation.

Gotama: Please, go ahead and lean on the richness of the knowledge that you have attained in the monastery since your admission. If it offers any consolation, just remember that in my Nirmanakaya state, I had to endure many forms of suffering and they all shaped within me the desired character that aided me in the attainment of Nirvana[20].

Wabi: Thank you for the comfort. I guess being in your position did not need me to explain my anxiety for you to figure out what I was undergoing through. (Rubbing her hands in apprehension). Well here I go. Wish me luck!

Gotama: I wish you all the luck you can find in the world!

Wabi: By the fact that I was brought to hell during the meditation exercise where I visited the two hells, it follows the concept that I have wronged in my actions. Reflectively, during the torturing, you mentioned that the actions were linked to the murders that I had committed in my past life. That explains the beating that the woman has to endure from the man, bent purely on the aspect of revenge.

Gotama: Half the truth has been revealed. Now compute the other remaining part of the mystery.

Wabi: I suppose the man beating the woman acquires her facial features as a reflection of the violent nature of the woman has exhibited by her murderous actions.

Gotama: Perfect. Welcome to the path of enlightenment. Only remember that your journey towards Nirvana shall have a lot of challenges and I guess I will be seeing you again in your next visit to hell!




Works Cited

Brown, Sid. The journey of one Buddhist nun: even against the wind. Albany: SUNY Press, 2001. Print.

Jackson, Roger & Makransky, John. Buddhist theology: critical reflections by contemporary Buddhist scholars. Hamden: Routledge, 2000. Print.

Schober, Juliane. Sacred biography in the Buddhist traditions of South and Southeast Asia. Mumbai: Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 2002. Print.

Strong, John. The experience of Buddhism: sources and interpretations. Belmont: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2002. Print.



[1] The state of eternal death that occurs through alternating revivals and killings

[2] A lake of unceasing fire

[3] Transformed body

[4] Spiritual body

[5] Body of ecstasy

[6] Anguish

[7] Enlightenment

[8] Enlightened existence

[9] Great vehicle

[10] Pragmatic viewership

[11] Liberty

[12] Honest talking

[13] Gentleness

[14] Harmless lifestyle

[15] Attempting progress

[16] Introspective behavior free from any form of lust

[17] Precise meditation

[18] Sequence of anguish and reincarnation

[19] Impetus that defines Samsara

[20] Total enlightenment, annihilation

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