Articles

April 25, 2020

Did the Buddha really say that?

How do we know that the teachings of the Buddha that we come across are indeed what He had taught?  Do we take into consideration the credibility of the messengers?  Do we simply assess the teachings according to our own experience and views?

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April 25, 2020

Determining the Buddhist Year

Wesak full-moon is the auspicious ‘Buddha Day’.  According to Theravada tradition, this day commemorates three important events in the Life of our Great Teacher – His birth in the year 623 BCE; His Enlightenment in 588 BCE; and His Parinibbāna in 543 BCE.  The ‘Buddha Day’ on 7 May 2020 marks the beginning of Year 2564 of the Buddhist Era (B.E.), or more commonly expressed as B.E.2564.  In Pāli language, the Buddhist Year is termed ‘Buddhavasse’.

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April 17, 2020

Lumbini – the birthplace of Siddhattha Gotama

Lumbini Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated in Nepal, just 26km from the border with India.  It is an important pilgrimage destination for Buddhists along with Bodhgaya, Sarnath, and Kusinara, because Prince Siddhattha Gotama (who later became Sakyamuni Buddha) was born there in 623 BCE.

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April 16, 2020

Kapilavatthu – hometown of Siddhattha Gotama

In the 7th Century BCE, Kapilavatthu was the capital of Sakka (also spelled ‘Sakya’) Kingdom, a small but prosperous principality south of the Himalayas rich in agriculture.  The most famous king to have reigned there was King Suddhodana and his consort Queen Māyādevī, who were the parents of Prince Siddhattha Gotama (who later became Sakyamuni Buddha).

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April 16, 2020

Rājagaha – Ancient Capital of Magadha

In the 7th Century BCE, Rājagaha (modern-day Rajgir) was the old capital city of Magadha Kingdom.  During the reign of King Bimbisara, it was one of the largest cities in the world.  King Bimbisara was a good administrator and a generous, spiritual person.  Thus, many religious and meditation teachers of the day were attracted to Rājagaha due to his munificent support.

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April 15, 2020

Siddhattha Gotama’s fearless search

After leaving the household life at the age of 29, Siddhattha Gotama looked for teachers in the hopes of finding the answer to overcome the unsatisfactory nature of life.  Having studied under two meditation teachers and quickly attaining their highest teachings, he did not find the path to Awakening.  After leaving Rajagaha, the ascetic Gotama went to the vicinity of Uruvela to further his cultivation towards liberation.

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April 14, 2020

Meeting Māra on the bank of Nerañjara

After almost six years of painful and ultimately futile austerities, Siddhattha Gotama abandoned the practice of self-mortification that did not lead to liberation from suffering.  He then came to the bank of Nerañjara River, to the village of Senanigāma.

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April 12, 2020

The Buddha’s Enlightenment

Realising that neither the emaciation of the body nor dwelling in luxuries bore fruit to liberation, the Buddha-to-be consumed some food offered to Him, and found a suitable place to meditate under a large pipal tree at Uruvela (now known as Bodhgaya).  Under the bright light of the Vesakhā month full-moon, He resolved that He would not leave the seat until He had attained the highest wisdom and unshakable peace.

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April 1, 2020

How did the Buddhist Flag come about?

The Buddhist Flag was first hoisted in Sri Lanka on Wesak Day, 28 April 1885, when the country was still under British colonial rule.  At that time, the majority Sinhalese Buddhist population felt discriminated against by the colonial authorities when carrying out their religious activities, as well as pressurized by relentless foreign evangelism.  The Buddhists needed an icon to peacefully rally around, and hence, the idea of the ‘Buddhist flag’ was conceived.

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