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Celebrate Vesak with Buddha's rice pudding
With Vesak approaching, rice pudding is on mind like every year when it is cooked in my household and eaten the roof under the glaze of full moon - the night of Buddha Poornima.

The story of the rice pudding for Vesak is more than 2500 years old. It is held that while in search of the truth of human life, Siddhartha Gautama with a group of ascetics practiced extreme austerities to gain control over his mind and body. However, his extreme physical emaciation and weakness could not make him control his mind continuously.

One day he fell down due to weakness, and a shepherd girl passing by saw it and offered him a bowl of simple rice pudding which Gautama gratefully accepted, ate and felt refreshed sat in meditation to be enlightened and found the middle path is real path to salvation with the rider of leading a life without desires.

This event of enlightenment happened during the full moon in Taurus. This timing is important as Gautama was born during the full moon in Taurus and attained Nirvana also during the full moon in Taurus.

The best Vesak rice pudding is made with sushi rice, but in India basmati rice can be a good substitute. Sprinkle some light dusting of cinnamon on the pudding to add some flavor to it.

However, I am having Buddha Pudding on Vesak night for the last few years, but have not able to get into deep meditation after having it. The spiritual awakening of knowledge and wisdom comes by striving for perception of the reality beyond ordinary vision of the people who indulge in the ritual of cooking rice pudding and enjoying it.

Awakening signifies realization of true and inner reality of higher consciousness which is achieved after many years of struggle and tough practice of meditation.

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