*Saga Dawa Düchen (Wyl. sa ga zla ba dus chen), the ‘Festival of Vaishakha’ — one of the four major Buddhist holidays. It occurs on the full moon (the 15th day) of the fourth Tibetan lunar month, which is called Saga Dawa in Tibetan. It celebrates Buddha Shakyamuni’s enlightenment andparinirvana. At the age of thirty-five Buddha attained enlightenment at Bodhgaya. This day also marks the anniversary of his parinirvana at Kushinagara.
*information from Rigpa Shedra site
May all sentient beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May all sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May all sentient beings never be separated from the happiness which is without suffering.
May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free from both attachment and hatred, holding some close and others distant.
Peaceful in body, peaceful in speech,
The bhikkhu peaceful and well-concentrated
Who has rejected the world’s bait
Is called “one at peace.” ~ The Buddha, Dhammapada 378
In training the mind, perspective is of crucial importance. We cannot expect to transform our minds in a few minutes or even a few weeks, thinking, perhaps, that the blessings of an enlightened individual will enable us to obtain immediate results. Such an attitude is not realistic. It takes a long time, sometimes years or even decades; but if we persevere, there is no doubt we will make progress. ~ His Holiness. The 14th Dalai Lama
The Buddha did not teach escape from responsibility or society. He taught escape from ignorance and evil thoughts and actions. He founded not merely a religion or a therapy, he founded a quiet revolution, a total reorientation of the habits of individuals and societies that has continued to this day. ~ Robert Thurman
When it comes to reading books, I rarely choose historical fiction. In fact, this was my first spiritual historical fiction. (At least that I remember!) So I will admit some reluctance in starting this book.
Mr. Chopra does a fine job of storytelling with this ‘possible’ tale of how Siddhārtha Gautama became The Buddha. He outlines Siddhārtha’s separateness before birth and how human he was. And how different he was from others around him. Yet he was the same, for he felt pain, suffered, and enjoyed pleasures as all humans do. Siddhārtha’s difference is what made him seek out the answers to the questions we all ask.
I will not say much more about the book for fear of telling too much. I will say I felt what Siddhārtha felt and at times had to put the book away until my eyes were not clouded with tears. (Maybe I was just tired and thus the watery eyes?) And the end is not quite what I had envisioned but it was great.
Now for the not so good: I felt the story plodded much of the time. Sometimes the scene changed abruptly which caused me to go back over what I had read to make sure I hadn’t missed a line or so. I also felt there was not always a clear reason for the main character to make a decision when he did.
All this taken into consideration, I say…..read this book. Glean from it as you may or not.‘Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment’ is worth your time. ~ Debra Saturday