Bodhi Day (Jodo E)

“Siddhartha left his home in search of Truth, even though he had every material thing he could desire in life.  Yet he was not satisfied with his life.  After diligently practicing all manner of ascetic disciplines, including starving himself to the point of death in order to gain control over his body, he rejected the ascetic path and took food again.  He realized that one could not think clearly and have a healthy mind without a healthy body.  Siddhartha instead turned to a middle gourd of meditation.  According to the Mahayana tradition, in the early morning hours of December 8th, Siddhartha became the Buddha the Awakened One, the Perfectly Enlightened One.  By his example, he showed us that it was possible for a man to become a Buddha, a fully enlightened person.  We are therefore in possession of this potentiality, this Buddha-nature, which, when awakened and cultivated, will enable us to achieve the same Enlightenment.”

-Masao Kodani and Russell Hamada from Traditions of Jodoshinshu Hongwanji-Ha (1984)

In a Nut Shell...

Date:  8 December

Translation:  Jodo E: attaining-Enlightenment-gathering.

Description:  A celebration of the day Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment while meditating under a pippala tree (known as Bodhi tree today).

What does the temple do to celebrate?  Special service is conducted to remind the sangha of all being’s Buddha-nature.

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