wesak, why one day?

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wesak, why one day?

Postby gingercatni » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:39 am


I've often been curious why Wesak is celebrated in one day rather than 3 individual days, like other traditions. The only reference for this I can find is that the Buddhist council in Sri Lanka in 1950 made this decision, but why? Is there documented times of year for each of these aspects of the Buddha's life?

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: wesak, why one day?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:43 am

Hello gingercatni,

No idea but it would be interesting to find out. Mettaya.
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: wesak, why one day?

Postby cooran » Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:58 pm

Hello gingercatni,

This might be of interest:

Celebration of Wesak by Ven Dr K Sri Dhammananda
http://www.ksridhammananda.com/pdf/CELE ... edited.pdf

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Re: wesak, why one day?

Postby chownah » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:36 am

"Traditions" don't celebrate wesak...."People" celebrate wesak....so.....however you decide how to celebrate wesak is how it will be celebrated....if you let some authority tell you how to celebrate it then that is what you will do but you can actually do whatever you want which includes not celebrating it at all....I guess.....

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Re: wesak, why one day?

Postby pilgrim » Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:29 am

According to the Theravada tradition, the birth, enlightenment and Parinibbana all took place on the Full moon night in the month of Vaisakha. Hence all three occasions are celebrated on the same day. It'll be good to know exactly which sutta, text or commentary pins this down though, and if it is similarly reflected in the Mahayana texts, perhaps the Agama sutras?..

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Re: wesak, why one day?

Postby Ben » Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:41 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: wesak, why one day?

Postby chownah » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:48 pm

Statistically 1/365th of the people will die on their birthday (leap year ignored here)...that means that as a rough estimate more than 10 million of the people alive today will die on their birthday I guess....

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