April 8 is Buddha’s birthday in Japan. I guess that other holiday somebody’s having today is nice, too.
© Gina Smith | Dreamstime.com
Lovely picture. Have a serene day, Barbara!
Christians have some weird things that they associate with the birth and death of their Savior:
On Christ’s birthday, they have a fat, jolly, gift-distributing elf (how is that not Dwarf Communism, since it’s elf-help, not self-help?) named Santa Claus, for Christmas.
And they celebrate the death and ascension/resurrection of Christ on Easter, by having their children hunt for eggs hidden by a giant bunny rabbit, who also leaves chocolates – only in place where it can’t melt.
Do Buddhists have anything weird like that?
You’re peaceful people, and the bunny rabbit’s taken, so do you have something like a Buddha-birthday chipmunk who leaves tofu, or a deer who hides vegetables for the children to find?
Happy Buddha’s Birthday, maha!!!
I hope you get a lot of tofu and vegetables – or whatever…
But the real birth is leaving ego and suffering behind.
Gulag – yeah, you have to scrape off all the many layers of cultural accretions, historical and current, wrapped around the life of Christ – to get at what he was about. These distractions and frankly, perversions, are why great avatars like Christ and Buddha keep reappearing to guide us back.
There are many, many things in the teachings of the people (usually men) who are considered “Prophet’s” that are very worthwhile.
All had worthy life lessons, mixed in with a lot of things that may have been legitimate concerns at the time, but now make little or no sense, due to science, technology, and cultural/societal changes.
It’s how their words, usually taken down by disciples, usually men, are interpreted by other people after them (again, usually men), are concerns.
Since most people were illiterate until recently, and couldn’t read their own “Holy Books,” they depended on others not only to read the books to them, but to interpret and explain the words and meanings for them.
And that’s where the danger in religion lies – the ability to twist words and meanings to fit the agenda’s of the people (usually men) who are the designated leaders.
Now, as more and more change occurs in each century than in the millenium preceding it, people are frightened by what seem to them sudden changes.
People need to get away from centralized religion, with a designated leader interpreting the words in the Holy Books for them. Many, if not most, of these leaders have political and monetary gain as their goals, and not the stewartship and salvation of souls.
If you want to believe in a God/Goddess/Whatever – fine. But read and learn, and seek some sense of salvation from within. And if you need guidance, please carefully vet the people you’re seeking it from. Too many of them are are vain, power, and money-hungry grifters, who’ll lead your soul astray for a few pieces of silver.
Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to The Mahablog by Email
Works Best in Firefox: