The Golden Buddha Story
Let me share with you one of my favorite stories:
(Even if you’ve heard this one, it never gets old. It truly is a legend, and the reason why it’s so remarkable is that it is 100% true!)
Many, many years ago, in 1801 to be exact, the king of Thailand wished to establish Bangkok as the new capital city.
He wanted new temples, and he needed statues for them, so he ordered that his men search through the ruins of ancient temples across the land for statues they could bring back to the city.
One particular statue found a new home in the main temple of Wat Chotanaram. History does not record where it was taken from, because this statue was ordinary and unremarkable — made of a type of cheap, ancient plaster that was common.
It sat there for more than a hundred years, and nobody noticed it.
Eventually, people stopped coming to this temple and it fell into disrepair, and so the statue was moved to a minor temple somewhere, and it was stored under a tin roof out of sight for many years.
Then, on May 25th 1955, something incredible happened:
The monks had built a new temple building — one that was large enough to hold the statue — and they were lifting it from its pedestal.
All of a sudden, the ropes snapped and the statue crashed to the ground and broke. At least, it looked like it broke. On closer inspection though, the plaster was merely a facade. The statue was actually made of gold!
Pure gold — several pieces that were designed to slot together.
During the months that followed, the monks did their homework and slowly pieced together the true history of the statue:
It was created hundreds of years ago, in the 13th or 14th century. Monks once sat in the statue’s shadow and meditated every day.
Then, in the 1700’s, word came that a foreign army was on its way.
Villages had been pillaged, sacked, raped and burnt to the ground.
The monks were scared.
They desperately wanted to protect the statue, and so they covered it with plaster and shards of colored glass to make it look worthless, ordinary and unremarkable. That way it couldn’t be harmed.
Their plan worked, and the statue sat unnoticed and unappreciated for hundreds of years. How many people looked at the mud and plaster, not realizing that it covered 5.5 tons of solid gold?
That’s the story of the Golden Buddha.
I love this story, because it’s really our story as human beings.
We’re all born a Golden Buddha.
While we’re in our infancy, we shine brilliantly and purely. We create things. We speak the truth. We dream. We give from our heart.
Until we feel threatened.
Then we do what everyone else who came before us did, and we cover our true identity with plaster and mud — so that we won’t be noticed, or hurt, or humiliated, or broken.
Years pass, and we forget who we are.
The world relates to us as plaster and mud, and we look in the mirror each day and believe that is all we are.
Until a shock comes.
We get dropped, or our plans and our dreams get shattered, and we’re forced to do something remarkable. That’s the moment when the mud and the plaster falls away, and we see ourselves for what we really are.
We’re golden. We’re priceless. We’re legendary.
Have a great day!
Founder, Be Legendary
“Live outside your shell.”