Vesak 2016 – Buddhist Holiday

vesak 2016

Vesak 2016 – Buddhist Holiday Vesak (also known as Vesakha, Visaikh Puja, Buddha Purnima, and Buddha Day) is a Buddhist holiday that celebrates Siddhartha Gautama’s birth, enlightenment (nirvana), and death (parinirvana).  This festival typically falls on the full moon in May which falls on May 21, 2016 this year. This holiday is typically observed by Buddhist practitioners of the Theravada tradition and is celebrated widely across Southeast Asia (e.g. India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Indonesia, Phillipines, Singapore, Vietnam, and many others). In contrast, many Mahayana Buddhists particularly in East Asia (i.e. Japan) tend to celebrate the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death … Continue reading

Buddha’s Birthday 2016

buddha's birthday 2016

Buddha’s Birthday 2016 Prince Siddhartha Gautama was born in Lumbini (modern-day Nepal) around the year 563 BC and was raised in Kapilavastu.  There are a number of interesting legends that have grown up around the birth of the Buddha which are rich in symbolism.  The majority of these legends and symbolic stories emerged during the first several hundred years after the death (or Parinirvana) of the Buddha. Siddhartha’s father was King Suddhodhana who was the leader of the Shakya (some scholars spell it Sakya) clan and his mother was Queen Maya who was the King’s consort and cousin. Queen Maya’s … Continue reading

Tibetan Buddhist New Year – Losar 2016

tibetan buddhist new year

Tibetan Buddhist New Year: Losar 2016 Year of the Fire Monkey Tashi Delek!!! Origins Losar is the three day Tibetan New Year festival which in 2016 is observed on February 9-11.  Since the Tibetans use a lunar calendar, the date may vary from year to year and it sometimes coincides with the Chinese New Year as it does this year. The origins of Losar go back to the pre-Buddhist period in Tibet (127 BC – 629 AD) to the Bon religion.  This holiday was originally held every winter and copious amount of incense was burned to appease the gods and … Continue reading

A Buddhist Christmas – Was Jesus a Buddha?

Buddhist christmas

A Buddhist Christmas – Was Jesus Buddha? Since today is Christmas Day I thought I would write a short post about Jesus and Buddha. So how do Buddhists view Jesus? The simple truth is that Buddhists love Jesus and most Buddhists consider Buddha and Jesus to be spiritual brothers. The Teachings of Buddha and Jesus Christ There have been many books written on the similarities between Buddhism and Christianity, and the possible influence of Buddhism on Jesus and his mission. It is said that Jesus went to Tibet during his “lost years” (from age 12 to 29) and learned the … Continue reading

Bodhi Day 2015 – Commemorating Buddha’s Life

Bodhi Day 2015 Let us take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha (community)… If you are not familiar with Buddhist “holidays”, today we celebrate the life and the Great Awakening of Shakyamuni Buddha who lived in what is now Nepal 2500 – 2800 years ago. It is not mandatory to celebrate this holiday of course but I thought it would be good opportunity for reflection. Buddha awakened (which is the meaning of Buddha) to the true nature of reality after sitting under the Bodhi Tree for many days. He had “attained” enlightenment (nirvana) at age 35, when he realized … Continue reading