News at Tipitaka Network
Faithful celebrate the life of Buddha
by Amber Parcher, Gazette.Net, Wednesday, May 6, 2009
A Thai Buddhist temple in Layhill will observe one of the holiest Buddhist holidays of the year this weekend with full days of meditation, candlelight processions and, of course, delicious Thai food.
The Visakha Puja holiday commemorates the birth, enlightenment and passing of Siddhattha Gautama, who later became the Buddha. All three events occurred on the same day and will be celebrated Saturday and Sunday at the Wat Thai Washington, D.C., temple in the Layhill area of Silver Spring.
The holiday usually comes in May or June of every year, depending on when the sixth lunar moon of the year arrives, said Thanat Handy, the chairman of the board of directors at Wat Thai D.C.
All day Saturday and Sunday, monks cloaked in solid orange will meditate in silent homage to the Buddha, his teaching and his disciples. His underlying message — and thus that of the ceremony, Handy said — is peace.
"He's the world peacemaker," Handy said. Thousands of temples and monks around the globe will honor him the same way.
Buddhism is one of the oldest religions in the world, founded more than 2,500 years ago, and has several hundred million followers, depending on who's counting, Handy said. Buddhists follow the spiritual teachings of Buddha, who preached knowledge of one's self and place in the world to ultimately escape the human cycle of suffering and rebirth.
Handy said the religion's holiest holiday has become even more important since the United Nations recognized the celebration as an international holiday and world day of peace in 1999.
Buddhists and non-Buddhists are welcome to visit Wat Thai D.C. one or both days and meditate on peace while paying their respects to Buddha at Wat Thai D.C. with a giant Buddha statue, Handy said.
The monks will begin each morning chanting with the sunrise and then launch a day of meditation Saturday until 6 p.m. There will be a food offering for the monks on Sunday and afterward a lunch served to the congregation.
Handy said much of the ceremony will be in Thai, but there will be English translations available.
The celebration has a strong current of support in the greater Washington, D.C., area, as about 200 to 300 people show up each year at Wat Thai D.C. to celebrate it, Handy said.
Buddhist News Features:
Sunday, May 19, 2019 Vesak Extra!
Tuesday, May 29, 2018 Vesak Extra!
Wednesday, May 10, 2017 Vesak Extra!
The epic history of the humble goldfish
Faithful Buddhists join end of Buddhist lent alms-giving ceremonies
Exhibition of writings by Buddhist hero in Korea-Japan diplomacy to open in Seoul
Myanmar Buddhists celebrate festival of lights
Chief Incumbent of NY Buddhist Vihara Ven. Kurunegoda Piyatissa Nayaka Maha Thero passes away
Mindfulness meditation: A six-part course by IMSB
ArtNight at Pasadena Buddhist Temple
Bodhisattva statue unearthed in Cambodia
Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya
Ancient Afghan artifacts restored
What Japan can teach us about cleanliness
`Child angel doll` practice contrary to Buddhism
A Lincoln organization holds Mindful Meditations every Friday
A Kalmyk village through time: Buddhist lore and history in Tsagan Aman
Buddhism: The next 40 years
Preah Vihear province`s ancient Buddha statues
When to let go of the Dharma, too
Website about Goryeo Buddhist paintings in US museums launched
The Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka is 175 years old
Buddhism`s next 40 years: Deepening our practice and study
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa.
Buddha sāsana.m cira.m ti.t.thatu.