Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hindus greet Buddhists on "Sangha Day"

PHOTOS: a solemn monastic procession on Sangha Day in Thailand (demotix.com)

(ANI/Sify/WQ) Hindus have sent early greetings to Buddhist communities worldwide for the upcoming Magha Puja Day, which falls on February 18, 2011.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a release from Nevada (USA), expressed his warmest greetings on behalf of the American Hindu community on the upcoming Buddhist celebration of Magha Puja day, wishing peace, blessings, and joy to all Buddhists.

Rajan Zed, who is the president of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that all religions should work together for a just and peaceful world. Dialogue brings us mutual enrichment, he added. Also pronounced Makha Bucha and called Sangha Day in English, it is popular in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.

It commemorates a day when 1,250 arhats (enlightened disciples) came to pay homage to the Buddha Gautama. He in turn addressed them and giving them the teachings called Ovadapatimokha, laying down the principles of Buddhist teachings.

Sangha Day shows special appreciation for the Buddhist monastic Order. In Thailand, Theravada Buddhists participate in candlelight processions from temples called Wian Tian. They visit temples to engage merit-making activities, circumambulate Lunar Observance (or "Sabbath") Day Hall, meditate, and so on.


Buddhism, the [third] largest religion in the world [when a full accounting is made including China], is based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha or "Awakened One"). Hinduism, the oldest and third largest religion in the world [when Chinese Buddhists are counted as official atheists by its communist regime], has about one billion adherents [almost all of them in India].

Moksha (liberation) is the ultimate goal [of both traditions, although they define "liberation" differently, the Hindus sometimes saying it is rebirth in heaven with Brahma, and Buddhists saying it is nirvana].
  • See upcoming Freedom From Religion post for detailed discussion of the key difference and striking similarities between Buddhist, Hindu, and Christian views of liberation.

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