DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS
07 May, 2020
10 Min Read
President’s Greetings on The Eve of Buddha Purnima on May 6th
Vesak Day, spelt “Wesak Day” until the 1970s, commemorates the birth, enlightenment and attainment of nirvana of Siddharta Gautama Shakyamuni (Sakyamuni) Buddha.The day falls on the full moon of the fourth lunar month. It falls on 7th May,2020.
Tenets of Buddhism
Four noble truths:
Suffering (dukkha) is the essence of the world.
Every suffering has a cause – Samudya.
Suffering could be extinguished – Nirodha.
It can be achieved by following the Atthanga Magga (Eight Fold Path).
Eight Fold Paths: the path consists of various interconnected activities related to knowledge, conduct, and meditative practices.
Dukkha and its extinction are central to the Buddha’s doctrine. Suffering is not limited to the actual pain but also to the potential to experience these things.
The essence of Buddhism is the attainment of enlightenment. It points to a way of life that avoids self-indulgence and self-denial. There is no supreme god or deity in Buddhism.
The ultimate goal of Buddha’s teaching was the attainment of nibbana which was not a place but an experience, and could be attained in this life.
Buddha also established code of conduct both for the monastic order and the laymen to follow which are also known as the Five Precepts or Pancasil and refrain from them.
Major Buddhist Texts
Buddhist Councils marked important turning points in the early Buddhism.
These councils resulted in sectarian clashes and the eventual Great Schism that resulted in the two major schools, Theravada and Mahayana.
In total, 4 major Buddhist councils were convened:
It was held soon after the Mahaparinirvan of the Buddha, around 483 BC under the patronage of King Ajatshatru and was presided by Mahakasyapa, a monk.
The council was held in the Sattapani cave at Rajgriha.
The council was held with the purpose of preserving Buddha’s teachings (Sutta) and rules for disciples. During this council, the teachings of Buddha were divided into three Pitakas.
It was held in Vaishali, a village in Bihar under the patronage of the king Kalasoka in 383 BC. It was presided by Sabakami.
It was held in 250 BC in Patliputra under the patronage of Ashoka and was presided by Moggaliputta Tissa.
It was held in 72 AD at Kundalvana, Kashmir. It was presided by Vasumitra, while Asvaghosa was his deputy under the patronage of King Kanishka of Kushan Empire.
Buddhism was divided into two sects namely Mahayan and Hinayan.
Schools of Buddhism
UNESCO’s heritage sites related to Buddhism:
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