Each spring, followers celebrate birth, life of Buddha.Byline: FROM HEART TO HEART By the Rev. Oswin Hollenbeck For The Register-Guard
Each spring, Buddhists throughout the world celebrate the holiday of Vesakha, or Wesak. This day honors the birth, life and teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha. Early Buddhist scriptures recount that the Buddha was born, enlightened and died on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month lunar month
The average time between successive new or full moons, equal to 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes. Also called synodic month. , "Vesakha." Whereas in southern Asia the festival encompasses all three major life events, in northern Buddhist traditions the Buddha's birth is especially emphasized in the spring.
There are many colorful stories about the Buddha's birth that inspire faith and devotion. In Lumbini Park in 463 BCE BCE
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Abbreviation for before the Common Era. , Queen Maya, the wife of King Suddhodana of Kapilavastu, gave birth to the child. He was named Siddhartha, "he who fulfills all wishes."
Becoming intensely aware of the suffering of the world, Siddhartha renounced his throne at age 29 and began a strenuous search for an answer. Six years later, on the full-moon night of Vesakha while meditating quietly, he found the cause and cure of this age-old problem. The purity of his heart and mind caused others to refer to him as the Buddha, "the Awakened or Enlightened One."
The Wesak Festival in Asia occurs at the end of the dry season, just as the monsoon monsoon (mŏnsn) [Arab., mausium=season], wind that changes direction with change of season, notably in India and SE Asia. brings refreshing and vital rain. Echoing this event, participants ladle tea or sweet water during the ceremony over a statue of the baby Buddha standing upright upon a fountain. The tea or water represents the "water of the spirit" that flows during meditation.
We offer at the main altar gifts of fruit, flowers, candles and incense, which represent the grateful offering of our hearts and lives to the teachings of the Buddha. The temple hall and grounds are decorated with a multitude of flowers as well, showing the joy of the occasion, the beauty of faith and the blossoming of spiritual wisdom in our hearts. We sing songs of praise and after the ceremony ring in the Buddhist new year on the temple bell, each toll a vow to repent re·pent 1
v. re·pent·ed, re·pent·ing, re·pents
1. To feel remorse, contrition, or self-reproach for what one has done or failed to do; be contrite.
2. a hindrance or cultivate a virtue.
Celebrating the life of Buddha reminds us that as human beings each of us can accomplish what he did - realization of our True Nature, also called "Nirvana" or "eternal peace and joy." As Buddhism teaches that all beings inherently have this Buddha nature, the practice of purification and conversion is not the exclusive province of our religion.
My late master Roshi ro·shi
n. pl. ro·shis
The spiritual leader of a group of Zen Buddhists.
[Japanese rshi, old master.] Jiyu-Kennett taught, "All roads All Roads is a 2001 interactive fiction game by Jon Ingold that placed first at the 2001 Interactive Fiction Competition. It also won the XYZZY Awards for Best Game, Best Setting and Best Story and was nominated for Best Individual Puzzle and Best Writing. lead to the goal. Walk the one that's best for you." The awakening of any being is the awakening of all beings. We all share in the spiritual success of each other.
At the end of the Wesak ceremony, the precentor precentor (prēsĕn`tər) [Lat.,=one who sings first], the director of the music of a cathedral or a monastic church and also a cantor. chants an offertory offertory [Lat.,=offering], in the Roman Catholic Mass and in derived liturgical forms, the preparation of bread and wine on the altar and their formal offering to God. It takes place after the gospel and the creed and before the preface. wishing that the light of the Buddha's teaching will illuminate and assist all beings of this world. The offertory ends, "We pray that the seed of Buddhahood will bud and blossom into the Flower of Enlightenment so that its beauty may fill the universe."
The Rev. Oswin Hollenbeck is the prior (resident monk) of the Eugene Buddhist Priory and a priest of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives. This column is coordinated by Two Rivers Two Rivers, city (1990 pop. 13,030), Manitowoc co., E Wis., on Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Twin River; inc. 1878. Two Rivers is closely associated with its twin city, Manitowoc, both of which are highly industrialized. Interfaith Ministries, a network of faith communities in the Eugene-Springfield area. For more information, call 344-5693.