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Entries in Parinirvana (3)


Parinirvana Day 2012

Always try to post an image of a beautiful reclining Buddha statue on Parinirvana Day (see Parinirvana and Parinirvana Day). I've been holding on to this one for almost a year. The replicate reclining Buddhas were off to the side at Keong Preah Bath in Phnom Penh, where I took these pictures. 

From Thich Nhat Hanh:

It was dusk by the time the Buddha and the bhikkus reached the forest of sal trees. The Buddha asked Ananda to prepare a place between to sal trees for him to lie down. The Buddha lay on his side, his head facing north. All the bhikkus sat around him. They knew that the Buddha would pass into nirvana that same night. 

Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha (1991)

[NOTE: Had a lovely service at EHZC this morning to mark the passing of Shakyamuni Buddha and his entering in to Nirvana. Teacher Susan Jion Postal reminded us "that this is not only about Shakyamuni Buddha, you know". Good point. Be diligent].


Parinirvana Day

February 15th is the day when Mahayana Buddhists all over the world honor the death and final liberation of Shakyamuni Buddha (see Parinirvana). The scene, as described by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Buddha looked quietly over the community and then said “Bhikkus, listen to what the Tathagata now says. Dharmas are impermanent. If there is birth, there is death. Be diligent in your efforts to attain liberation!”

The Buddha closed his eyes. He had spoken his last words. The earth shook. Sal blossoms fell like rain. Everyone felt their minds and bodies tremble. They knew the Buddha had passed into nirvana.

- Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha (1991)

[NOTE: Image is the exquisite, reclining Buddhha statue at Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka. Carved in the 12 century from a single outcrop of banded granite].




Yesterday, February 15, was the Mahayana Buddhist holy day, Parinirvana, which marks the death of the Buddha. He died in a state of meditation, and attained nirvana, a release from the cycle of death and rebirth.

"The Buddha and his monks came to a grove of sal trees in Kushinagar. The Buddha asked Ananda to prepare a couch between two trees, with his head to the north. I am weary and want to lie down, he said. When the couch was ready, the Buddha lay down on his right side, one foot upon the other, with his head supported by his right hand. Then the sal trees bloomed, although it was not their season, pale yellow petals rained down on the Buddha.

Then the Buddha said, All compounded things are subject to decay. Strive with diligence. Then, serenely, he passed into Parinirvana."

-Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra

[NOTE: The image above is the reclining Buddha in Myitkyina (see Reclining Buddha and Reclining Buddha II)].