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Happy Birthday

The birthday of Prince Siddhartha Guatama, aka the Buddha, is traditionally celebrated on the eighth day of the 4th month in the Gregorian calendar, i.e. today.

Legend has it that his mother, Queen Maya Devi, gave birth to him in 642 BC while resting under a sal tree (Shorea robusta Roth) in the gardens of Lumbini. Both mother and child were then showered with perfumed blossoms, and two streams of sparkling water poured from the sky to bathe them. The infant stood, took seven steps, and proclaimed “I alone am the World-Honored One!"

Happy birthday, World-Honored One. [NOTES: The baby Buddha's seven steps are said to represent the seven directions: north, south, east, west, up, down, and here. The lovely Buddha head shown above is from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, sandstone, Cambodia (1000 - 1100C.E.)].

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