With Visakha Bucha Day coming up on the 15th May 2022, the bank holiday on the Monday 16th. We revisit our archives on Buddhism.
Visakha is the biggest of “big Buddha” days: It is a really important day for Buddhists, marking the birth, enlightenment and death of the Lord Buddha. By coincidence all three auspicious occasions happened on the full moon of the sixth lunar month. On this day, the Thais make merit and take part in candlelit processions in the monasteries.
We see Buddhism all around us on a daily basis in Thailand.
People humbly feeding monks in the morning, various different fantastical parades, glorious temples, somewhat dangerous rocket festivals, plus many other wonderfully curious events right in front of our eyes.
Most of us notice the monks if we get up early and we may remark on the alcohol sales ban in shops like 7-11 and supermarkets.
But does everyone understand it? Do we really know what all this great fuss is about?
A Brief Summary Of Buddhism (From our archives, for those who have yet to study it)
According to Buddhism we are caught in an eternal cycle of life and death. We are born, we suffer, we die, we are born again, we suffer, we die we are born again, we suffer we die etc.
Suffering in terms in Buddhism is as much about mental as physical suffering. Anguish, dashed expectation, frustration, anger, grief, disappointment and many more. Buddhism is about an individual’s journey to escape this endless cycle of life and death and suffering and mental anguish.
How Is This Done?
This is done by achieving spiritual enlightenment. By achieving spiritual enlightenment we can escape this cycle and enter Nirvana. Where all suffering is gone.
Spiritual enlightenment is achieved by accepting the four noble truths of Buddhism and following the eight fold path.
The Four Noble Truths Again
- we suffer, we die, we are reborn
- We can know the cause
- We can stop this suffering
- There is a specific way out (The eight fold path of Buddhism)
By following the eight fold path you can realise that there is no self, no want, no desire, no feelings. You can transcend your physical body, become one with the universe, escape the cycle of life and death, end suffering for ever and enter Nirvana.
So there you have it. Buddhism is about reaching a higher spiritual plane above that of the physical world that we find ourselves in now. By reaching that plane all suffering is gone and you have escaped the never ending cycle of life, death, and suffering.
Not a particularly bad end goal really.
Another great article from Rob Gall which the Buriram Times editorial team are pleased to republish from their archives for our new readers