History

April 28, 2020

How did the Wesak holiday come about?

Buddhists have commemorated the Full-moon day of the Wesak month as a centuries-old tradition after the passing-away of the Buddha.  It was only in March 1885 that this day was declared an official holiday in Sri Lanka by the British […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
April 15, 2020

Siddhattha Gotama’s fearless search

Photograph above : View of ‘Pragbodhi’ (today’s Dhongra Hills near Bodhgaya in Bihar), where the Buddha-to-be practised extreme abstinence for almost 6 years. After leaving the household life at the age of 29, Siddhattha Gotama looked for teachers in the […]
April 14, 2020

Meeting Māra on the bank of Nerañjara

Māra the Evil One, feigning sympathy for the Buddha-to-be, came a-visiting at the bank of Nerañjara (located in modern day Bihar) in a futile attempt to dissuade Siddhattha Gotama from pursuing His goal of liberation.   After almost six years […]
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 […]