Buddha's 2556th Birth Day Celebration in Fort Worth
May 06, 2012, Fort Worth,
Bhutanese Buddhist Community of Fort Worth, Texas celebrated their greatest festival, the 'Buddha Purnima'; the day which indicates the 'enlightenment of Buddha'. It was the 2556th birth day of Buddha. He was born (as a prince of Lumbini, central southern-west state of Nepal) on full moon night of the day, on the same full moon night He left the palace in search of peace and reality of life. And on the same full moon night His earthly life was ended but spiritually He remained eternal. Every year on the same day of the full moon night, the followers and Buddhist practice-rs commemorate and celebrate as Buddha Purnima.
Similarly, the Bhutanese refugees of Fort Worth, Texas celebrated the day of enlightenment in their own efforts and contribution. This was great challenge for our refugee community people to do this praise worthy deed in this oversea land where we are just the aliens. Many haven't thought about it but our community people did it. They even have rented a two roomed apartment as their 'Buddha Gumba' for regular worship, community activities and empowerment programs of the community. On the same very day, the Bhutanese Buddhist of Fort Worth inaugurated the rented apartment as the 'Buddhist Gumba' on the auspicious occasion of 2556th Buddha Jayanti. This is historical for the Bhutanese Refugee Community of Fort Worth. Lets hope God will help us to continue the responsibilities and establish a home for Peace.
Buddha Shakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism in this world, was born as a prince in 624 BC in a place called Lumbini, which was originally in northern India but is now part of Nepal. In his early years he lived as a prince in the royal palace but when he was 29 years old he retired to the forest where he followed a life of meditation. After six years he attained enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya, India.
According to Geshe Kelsang Gyatso says in Introduction to Buddhism, Buddha rose from meditation and taught the first Wheel of Dharma. These teachings which include the Sutra of the Four Noble Truths and other discourses, are the principal source of the Hinayana, or Lesser Vehicle, of Buddhism. Later, Buddha taught the second and third Wheels of Dharma, which include the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras and the Sutra Discriminating the Intention respectively. These teachings are the source of the Mahayana, or Great Vehicle, of Buddhism. In the Hinayana teachings Buddha explains how to attain liberation from suffering for oneself alone, and in the Mahayana teachings he explains how to attain full enlightenment, or Buddhahood, for the sake of others. Both traditions flourished in Asia, at first in India and then gradually in other surrounding countries, including Tibet. Now they are also beginning to flourish in the West.
In general, ‘Buddha’ means ‘Awakened One’, someone who has awakened from the sleep of ignorance and sees things as they really are. A Buddha is a person who is completely free from all faults and mental obstructions. There are many people who have become Buddhas in the past, and many people will become Buddhas in the future….There is nothing that Buddha does not know. Because he has awakened from the sleep of ignorance and has removed all obstructions from his mind, he knows everything of the past, present, and future, directly and simultaneously. Moreover, Buddha has great compassion which is completely impartial, embracing all living beings without discrimination.
He benefits all living beings without exception by emanating various forms throughout the universe, and by bestowing his blessings on their minds. Through receiving Buddha’s blessings, all being, even the lowliest animals, sometimes develop peaceful and virtuous states of mind. Eventually, through meeting an emanation of Buddha in the form of a Spiritual Guide, everyone will have the opportunity to enter the path to liberation and enlightenment. As the great Indian Buddhist scholar Nagarjuna said, there is no one who has not received help from Buddha. (extract from About Buddha)
In all, Buddha Shakyamuni gave eighty-four thousand teachings. revealing many profound methods of spiritual training, all of which are practical ways to purify and control our mind. If we put these methods into practice we shall definitely gain a special experience of mental peace. By continuing to improve this experience, deluded states of mind will gradually diminish and our inner peace will grow. Eventually, by abandoning delusions altogether we shall attain the permanent inner peace of nirvana, just like Buddha himself. Having overcome our own delusions, such as anger, attachment, and ignorance, and developed profound spiritual realizations of universal love, compassion, concentration, and wisdom, our ability to help others will be far greater. The unchanging inner peace is the final goal of the Buddhist path. (extract from tharpa.co.uk)