River or Lake

“The self is lord of self, who else could be the lord?” Dhammapada 12:160

I first came across this verse when I was an undergraduate in NUS in 1992. I was part of the second batch of students who joined the Southeast Asian Studies department.  In my 19 year old eyes, there was something deep and old and mystical about the history, culture and art of the region.  I collected Topeng and Wayang Kulit characters, wore Batik, spoke bahasa Indonesia…And Buddhism suddenly moved away from being a musty old incense burning religion for the elderly to something romantic and mystical.

Today when I see read this verse, religion wrung dry from it, I am reminded of how we decide for ourselves – River or Lake

Drawn on Winsor and Newton Cotman cold pressed 425g/m² 10 x 7 inch paper using Copic multiliners in 0.05 and 0.1.

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