Happy Bodhi Day 2012

Paintings of Life of Gautama Buddha - Asalha Puja

Hi all,

In celebration of Bodhi Day, I wanted to present a couple excerpts both from the Nikayas and from a Mahayana Buddhist text. This is part of the first sermon of the Buddha as recorded in the Pali Canon (Nikayas):

When the Wheel of Truth had thus been set rolling by the Blessed One the earthgods raised the cry: “At Benares, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the matchless Wheel of truth has been set rolling by the Blessed One, not to be stopped by monk or divine or god or death-angel or high divinity or anyone in the world.”

On hearing the earth-gods’ cry, all the gods in turn in the six paradises of the sensual sphere took up the cry till it reached beyond the Retinue of High Divinity in the sphere of pure form. And so indeed in that hour, at that moment, the cry soared up to the World of High Divinity, and this ten-thousandfold world-element shook and rocked and quaked, and a great measureless radiance surpassing the very nature of the gods was displayed in the world.

And this is the opening narration of the Immeasurable Life Sutra in the Mahayana/Pure Land tradition:

As Shakra and Brahma request him to turn the Wheel of the Dharma, the Buddha visits various places and preaches the Dharma in his thunderous voice. He beats the Dharma-drum, blows the Dharma-conch, brandishes the Dharma-sword, hoists the Dharma-banner, rolls the Dharma-thunder, hurls the Dharma-lightning, brings the Dharma-rain, and bestows the Dharma-gift. At all times, he awakens the world with the sound of the Dharma. His light illuminates countless Buddha-lands, causing the entire world to quake in six ways. It encompasses Mara’s realm, shaking his palace, so that he and his host become frightened and surrender. The bodhisattva tears asunder the net of evil, destroys wrong views, removes afflictions, flushes the gutters of desire, protects the Dharma-castle, opens the Dharma-gate, washes off the grime of the passions, and reveals the pure white Dharma. He unifies everything in the Buddha Dharma, and thus proclaims the right teaching.

He enters the town to beg alms; he accepts even rich food to enable the donors to accumulate merit and also to show that he is a field of virtue. Wishing to expound the Dharma, he smiles and so cures the three pains with various Dharma-medicines.

Happy Bodhi Day to Buddhists and all beings everywhere!

Namu Shaka Nyorai
Namu Amida Butsu


Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

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