‘Justice League’ On Bodhisattva Heroism

When Commissioner Gordon asked, ‘How many of you (i.e. heroes) are there (in the Justice League to be)?’, Batman replied with ‘Not enough!’ How many then, are enough? When everyone of us become heroic in nature, with none of us villainous. On another occasion, when Wonder Woman remarked that, ‘People said the Age of Heroes would never come again’, Batman retorted that, ‘It has to. We don’t have any more time!’ Why wait for a single ‘messiah’ to come? We are the ones to step up to the challenge. Heroes need not even be super in physical powers, as long as rich in resources, with abundant skilful means. This is evident for Batman. Despite being the only one without special powers, he built the alliance to lead the league against a common enemy. 

Though ‘merely’ human, Batman managed to transform mourning for his deceased parents to inspire even godlike ‘superhumans’ like Wonder Woman, urging her to also move on from sorrow over her deceased beloved one. He reasoned that she should continue saving and inspiring others – to see and be their better selves. Like so, effective ‘Bodhisattvas’ motivate potential Bodhisattvas! Batman even coordinated the revival of Superman, whom he had a fight with over a misunderstanding. He saw him as a ‘beacon (of hope) to the world’, who was ‘more human’ than himself, with great humane qualities despite his great super powers, that he could had easily abused. True Bodhisattvas are never disheartened – even by the ungrateful helped!  

When The Flash confessed during a dangerous situation, that he is inexperienced in battles, to kickstart his ‘Bodhisattva career’, Batman gave him a simple instruction – just ‘save one’ – by dashing in with his super speed to where hostages are held, to bring one out. The Flash asks, ‘And then?’ Batman replies, ‘You’ll know.’ Indeed, most true heroes are born from saving one first… naturally followed by another… and more and more. It is from more experience in helping that more confidence in helping grows. Batman’s super-focused instruction surely qualifies as brief yet complete situational Zen advice! What more could the young and impatient Flash ask for, than to be taught by a sharp and experienced mentor? The Flash ended up saving all the hostages! 

As Lois Lane reflected upon the nature of heroism, ‘There are heroes among us. Not to make us feel smaller, but to remind us of what makes us great… The world has grown dark, and while we have reasons to fear, we have the strength not to… [F]rom fear, comes courage… [O]nly from the darkness, can we truly feel the light.’ Indeed, Bodhisattva-like heroes walk among us, sometimes recognised, but often not, even in disguise to blend in skilfully. They never oppress but inspire us to be like them. As outer sources shining the light of hope, they remind us that their hope came from within themselves too. When fearful, all the more must we shine with courage, just like they do.

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