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Articles

DP3b- Shakyamuni Buddha LANTIG

 

      

On the occasion of the full moon (15th) of the 4th lunar month, the VESAK day (triple celebrations of Shakyamuni Buddha’s birthday, attainment of Dao and entry into Nirvana (death)) I would like to summarise some main information  about his life and career (as accepted by him) to help you have better understanding about him.

1. The last life on Earth

- Shakyamuni was born on 8th day of 4th lunar month year 563 BCE, or 2581 years from 2018; his Sanskrit name was Sakara Kajiral, a Nepalese, in Kathmandu capital city.

He was the third prince of King Sakara Ghoela of ancient Nepal. Sakara (Thich Ca) is his family name, Kajiral (Mau Ni) is his appellation, denoting him as a Sage in ancient Nepal.

- At the young ages, he was raised carefully in the King’s palace in both literature and martial art. At the age of 13, he was trained in martial art and was very good at archery. He had the appearance of a handsome and, good looking man with charisma and august.

- At the age of 16, he got married to the daughter of a mandarin in his father’s court. Despite his luxurious life in the king’s palace he always had the intention to practice Buddhism. At the age of 29 and already had a son, despite his father king’s deterrence, he decided to quit his life in the palace, his wife and son to find way for cultivation. It was on 8th of second lunar month year 534 BCE. He asked his loyal servant named Channa to accompany him along with his horse Kantaka. When they reached the bank of Anoma river, the Prince stopped, took off his clothes, shaved and gave the horse and all his belongings to the servant. He began a life living on alms, had no home and followed ascetic practices.

2. Life of cultivation

 Shakyamuni Buddha had 8 incarnations cultivating in pagoda. Till his last incarnation on Earth, he had incarnated more than 180 times. In his time, he believed that one needed to abandon all pleasures of life and followed ascetic practices for cultivation. He spent 6 years following asceticism in mountainous caves in the South of India. Every day, he ate only drops of green bean soup, black bean soup, beans soup or pea soup. He finally realised that ascetic practices didn’t bring about good outcomes. He then decided start eating normally again and spent 49 days meditating under the Bodhi tree (Picture 1) in Boudha Gaya (India) until he attained Dao. Later on when he had attained Buddhahood, he taught his disciples that both cultivation following ascetic practices or cultivation in lusting in pleasures and glory of normal life cannot bring about attainment of Dao. He realised that there needs to have balance of both these tendencies of cultivation and decided to harmonize these two extreme trends, called it harmonizition trend (Middle method), i.e meditating in the conditions of normal life (eating, working and living normally). Whilst sitting meditating, one needs to reject Lust, Hatred, Delusion, be satisfied with what one has, and direct towards a life of love-kindness. So based on this, we know that tendency of Buddhism in some countries which considers cultivation in conditions of leaving normally life, renouncing family or not getting married do not correspond to Shakyamuni Buddha’s guide.

 

                            

   

Picture 1 - Boudha Gaya tower and the Bodhi tree. Picture at the beginning of this page is the only statute of Shakyamuni Buddha worshipped in this tower

Picture 2 – Place where Shakyamuni Buddha entered into Nirvana in sitting meditation posture

Harmonized trend in cultivation was a great discovery of Shakyamuni Buddha at that time. One needs to be very strong to make this work because it needed to overcome the so deeply- rooted mindset of cultivator at that time that cultivator must accept asceticism. This is also the foundation for the development of Mahayana Buddhism, i.e extending the cultivation to normal people. Those who are living a normal life can also cultivate, not just only monks or nuns. In fact, the author has guided many disciples cultivating at home whilst still living and working as normal, still having family, doing business, doing scientific work or business, advancing in their career etc, but still achieving good outcomes in cultivation.

Shakyamuni Buddha attained Dao (High Buddha level 3) under the Bodhi tree on 8th of 12th lunar month year 524 BCE, or 2542 year from 2018, Buddha name is LANTIG (Pervasiveness).

Shakyamuni Buddha realized from his experience that there needs to have help for other people to abandon their greed, hatred and ignorance which were deeply rooted in the Rough man mind though it is not easy work to be done.

- At the age of 78, he entered the Nirvana (died) on 14th day of 4th lunar month year 485 BCE. From the ash of his cremated body (Picture 2), his disciples found many glowing Sariras (pearls). In 485 BCE, these Sariras were kept in the Sarnath garden in India but then due to religious wars they were transferred to be kept in Nepal and Srilanka until today.

3. Other sappenllations of Shakyamuni Buddha

Shakyamuni Buddha also had the following sappenllations:

1. (sa. pi tathāgata), the Pink Sun (never fade away) or Tathāgata Buddha;

2. (sa. arhat pi arahant), person is worthy of respect;

3. (sa. samyaksaṃbuddha), Buddha having good knowledge of  all dharma;

4. (sa. vidyācaraṇasaṃpanna), person having high intelligence and conduct; 

5. (sa. sugata), person guiding right way towards goodness;

6. (sa. lokavid), person who perfectly understands the World;

7.(sa. anuttarapuruṣa), superior educating all beings;

8.(sa. puruṣadamyasārathi), person who can control his self and others;

9. (sa. devamanuṣyānāṃ śāstṛ), Teacher of Troi and Tran/physical spaces;

10.(sa. Buddhalokanātha, buddhalokajyeṣṭha, bhagavān), Buddha enlightened and honored by the World.                  

4. Recognition by humankind

- In 1999, the United Nations decided to celebrate VESAK day, in Sanskrit Vesakha, annually (these are 3 anniversaries of Shakyamuni Buddha: birth day, attainment of Dao day and Entry into Nirvana day). This VESAK day is celebrated in different days in various countries depending on the full moon day in that geographic area. In April 2008, the celebration ceremony of VESAK was organized in Hanoi. In May 2014, VESAK ceremony was organized in Bai Dinh pagoda, Ninh Binh province.

- There are four Buddhism holy places recognized as World Heritage by UNESCO as follows:

1.Lumbini Park, Nepal, the birth place of Shakyamuni Buddha (Picture 3);

2. Bodha Gaya tower, India, place of his attainment of Dao (Picture 1);

3. Sarnath Garden, India, place of his first teaching for the first five disciples after his attainment of Dao (Picture 4);

4. Kushinagar, India, place where he entered Nirvana (died) (Picture 2)

                            

   

Picture 3 – Monument temple at Shakyamuni Buddha’s birth place in Lumbini

Picture 4 – Monument tower at the place of his first teaching

5.  Teaching career

During the last life on Earth, Shakyamuni Buddha had about 40 years teaching Buddhism all over North and Central India. He left for humankind a huge number of Sutras which were his teachings recorded by his disciples.

His first teaching was the teaching in Sarnarth garden, Varanasi area (Picture 3) for his first 5 disciples, who had followed him during his cultivation. That was the teaching on the hamonized life in cultivation. He criticized the ascetic practices as well as practices in lusting for Lust, Hatred, Delusion, and emphasized that cultivating in normal life with mind directed to goodness and ignored Lust, Hatred, Delusion can attain Dao.

He also taught people in North and Central India about the Four Noble Truths, Eight Corrected Paths/manners of life, non-self (who am I?), impermanence, samsara (wheel of rebirth), destiny/ pratītyasamutpāda and Tu Cong Phap (Cong Phap Cultivation) etc. Number of disciples following him increased from time to time. He established sangha comprised of monks (bhikkhus) and nuns (bhikkhunis), residential monks and residential nuns. Among them there were his father king and mother queen. His aunt was the head nun of a bhikkhuni-sangha. His father king offered to the sangha the first monastery called Veluvana in the capital city. Another wealthy business man also offered to the sangha a very luxurious monastery called Jetavana.

He developed Buddhism, which was born from the time Amitabha Buddha was the leader of Three Jewels, into an orthodox religion, maintained and developed until today. Buddhism teaches humankind on all 5 mankind bearing planets in the Universe.

6. Activity in the invisible space

He was conferred with Upper Buddha grade 4 about 2170 years ago with Buddha name LANTIG (Pervasiveness). He is currently the Highest Revered Buddha, leading the Three Jewels (today called the Highest Universal Council – FOGHY). FOGHY was established 2333 years ago, being the standing organ of Troi.

Shakyamuni has led the FOGHY for 2132 year to this year 2018. During these 2132 years, he has been leading the FOGHY and the Buddha and God Council (FOHIZ) to teach humankind in the whole Universe to correctly understand about the universal existence, the laws of Troi, and guide humankind to cultivate toward Chan, Thien, Nhan. He made great contribution in maintaining and development of Buddhism. The lessons he taught humankind can never complete learning.

He is also the teacher who has been guiding and instructing several High Buddhas and Upper Buddhas such as Maitreya Buddha, Van Van Quang Buddha and Suhaf Emperor, those of generations after his.

Prof. Dich