Sharing The Peapod's Travel Adventures...

Happy Birthday Buddha

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This entry was posted on 5/20/2007 8:03 PM and is filed under Australia.

We began to notice flags filling the city for Buddha's Day - a two day celebration of the birth of the Buddha to be held at the heart of town, Federation Square...



Buddha's Day celebrates the birthday of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who was to become Sakyamuni Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.  Prince Siddhartha was born on the day of the full moon in May around 549 BC in Lumbini, Kapilavatsu, which in in Northern India near the present border of Nepal.  His family name was Gautama and he was the crown prince of a small feudal kingdom of the Sakya Clan.  After the birth of Prince Siddhartha, nine heavenly dragons appeared and emitted two streams, one cool and one warm, of the purest fragrant rain from their mouths that gently cascaded to bathe the newly born prince.  The baby prince then took 7 steps and 7 lotus flowers sprang from beneath his feet.  Flowers drifted down from the heavens.  Purified by the rain, the young prince pointed one hand towards the heavens and one hand towards the earth and said, "On heaven and earth, I am the Honored One."  The Honored One refers to the Buddha nature that exists in all humans and other sentient beings.

When the big weekend came, the square was indeed full and festive.  When we arrived, the main stage had Chinese Dragon dances going on - like these...

Movie of dragon dances for Buddha Day



The rest of the square held various altars and puja for the Buddha, like these....



Here's M-pod with her new Melbourne hair do, and her little statue of the Buddha...



This giant altar held benches for many people to offer obeisance at once...



Every station held a Buddha in a golden bowl with a ladle, so each person could give their Buddha a ritual honorific bath...



And here was the big screen tv above it all...





 

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