Tag Archives: Buddhism

today’s holiday: Denmark Constitution Day


Denmark Constitution Day

This public holiday commemorates the constitution signed on June 5, 1849, that made Denmark a constitutional monarchy, and the one signed on June 5, 1953, that created parliamentary reforms. A parade takes place in Copenhagen, and other festivities are held in villages throughout Denmark. More… Discuss

Advertisements

The Ajanta Caves


The Ajanta Caves

These caves in Maharashtra, India, discovered in 1819, are carved out of the side of a steep horseshoe-shaped ravine and contain remarkable examples of Buddhist art. They consist of chapels and monasteries dating from about 200 BCE to 650 CE, with magnificent frescoes and sculpture depicting scenes from the life of Buddha. Changes in Buddhist thought in what century made it possible for the image of the Buddha to become a focus of worship? More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Jizo Ennichi


Jizo Ennichi

Tradition calls for Japanese Buddhists to honor Kshitigarba Jizo on the 24th day of each month with a ritual known as Jizo Ennichi. Kshitigarba Jizo is a Bodhisattva, or “Buddha-to-be.” Among Japanese Buddhists, he is known for helping children, women in labor, and the wicked. He is also believed to participate in ushering in the souls of the faithful when they die. His statue is most often found outside temples, where he can guide both the dead and the living. Shrines in his honor are set up along roadsides, since he protects travelers as well. More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Surin Elephant Round-Up


Surin Elephant Round-Up

The Elephant Round-Up is an internationally famous show of 200 or more trained elephants held annually in the provincial capital of Surin, Thailand, where elephant training is a tradition. A tug-of-war is staged in which elephants are pitted against Thai soldiers, and there are also log-pulling contests, a soccer game with two teams of elephants kicking a giant soccer ball, and elephant basketball. A highlight is the spectacular array of elephants rigged out to reenact a medieval war parade. Besides the elephant demonstrations, there are cultural performances and folk dancing. More… Discuss

word: impede


impede 

Definition: (verb) Be a hindrance or obstacle to.
Synonyms: hinder
Usage: By questioning every proposal, she is impeding the progress of our project. Discuss.

Pagodas


Pagodas

A pagoda is a tiered tower with multiple eaves common to China, Japan, Korea, and other parts of Asia. The pagoda evolved from the Indian stupa—a dome-shaped shrine for Buddhist relics—and, like the stupa, is typically built for religious, often Buddhist, purposes. Whether octagonal, hexagonal, or square, pagodas are intended mainly as monuments and tend to have very little usable interior space. What is the “demon-arrester” that tops some pagodas? More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Birthday of the Dalai Lama


 

English: Inside Potala Palace, Dalai Lama form...

English: Inside Potala Palace, Dalai Lama former residence. Italiano: Interno del palazzo del Potala, residenza del Dalai Lama fino all’esilio in India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Birthday of the Dalai Lama

 

This celebration is held on July 6 for the birthday of the current Dalai Lama, the spiritual and political head of Tibet. The present Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso (b. 1935), is the latest in the line that began in the 14th century. Each Dalai Lama is believed to be the reincarnation of the preceding one, and when a Dalai Lama dies, Tibetan lamas search throughout the country for a child who is his reincarnation. The birthday is observed today by exiles in India with family picnics, traditional dances and singing, and incense-burning ceremonies to appease the local spirits. More… Discuss

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: OCTAVIO PAZ (1914)


Octavio Paz (1914)

Paz was a Mexican poet, critic, and diplomat, and the winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Literature. He wrote with a revealing depth of insight, elegance, and erudition that place him among the generation’s best writers. Influenced by Marxism, surrealism, existentialism, Buddhism, and Hinduism, his poetry uses rich imagery to deal with his most prominent theme: the human ability to overcome existential solitude through love and creativity. Paz was born in Mexico City during what political event?More… Discuss

Enhanced by Zemanta

ARTICLE: THE SWASTIKA


The Swastika

Though in the minds of many Westerners the swastika is inextricably linked with Nazis and genocide, it has long been a symbol of prosperity and good fortune. In India, it remains the most common auspicious symbol of Hindus and Jains, as well as Buddhists, for whom it symbolizes the Buddha‘s feet. In China and Japan, where it traveled with the spread of Buddhism, it has been used to denote plurality, prosperity, and long life. Why did the Nazi Party adopt the ancient symbol as its emblem? More… Discuss

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

ARTICLE: BOROBUDUR


Borobudur

Borobudur is a magnificent 9th-century Buddhist shrine located in Java, Indonesia. The ruins resemble a stepped pyramid, and its intricately carved blocks of stone illustrate the life of the Buddha. A seated Buddha may be seen from three platforms above the seven stone terraces that encircle the pyramid. The simple and spacious upper terraces carry 72 bell-shaped shrines, each containing a statue of the Buddha. Hidden for centuries, Borobudur was rediscovered in the 19th century by whom? More… Discuss

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

THE DIAMOND SUTRA


The Diamond Sutra

The Diamond Sutra is a Buddhist wisdom text. Written in the form of a dialogue between the Buddha Gautama and a questioning disciple, it emphasizes the fleeting nature of the material world and posits that enlightenment cannot be achieved through rational thought. A wood block-printed copy of the sutra held at the British Library is the earliest known printed text with a date—868 CE—predating the Gutenberg Bible by about 587 years. The copy, in scroll form, is roughly how many feet long? More… Discuss

MAHABODHI TEMPLE


Mahabodhi Temple

Siddhartha Gautama, the man who would come to be revered as Buddha, was a prince who lived a sheltered life of luxury until he left his palace and witnessed real-world suffering. Renouncing his wealth, he became a wandering ascetic and is said to have gained enlightenment while meditating under a bodhi tree. A few hundred years later, around 250 BCE, Mahabodhi Temple, or “Great Awakening Temple,” was built on the site. Who initiated the restoration of the Bodh Gaya, India, temple in the 1880s? More… Discuss

 

Article Of The Day – May 15, 2011: Kojiki – Shinto


Kojiki

Shinto, Japan‘s indigenous religion, cannot be traced to its beginnings because until the 5th century—when Chinese writing was introduced into Japan—the myths and rituals were transmitted orally. Although Shinto has no founder and no official scripture, its mythology and ancient beliefs and customs are collected in the Kojiki—”Record of Ancient Matters.” Prepared under imperial order in the early 8th century, it is the oldest extant chronicle in Japan. What myths does it include? More… Discuss