Asoka, grandson of Chandragupta, was one of the first royal patrons of Buddhism. The first was, perhaps, Bimbisara, who lived at the time of the Buddha. Asoka's legend is recorded in a second century book called the "Asokavadana" which was translated into Chinese by Fa-ch'in in 300 A.D. He is also known from his edicts written on rocks and pillars throughout India.
In his youth. Asoka was known as Canda Asoka, the fierce Asoka, due to his aggressive nature. As a prince, he was appointed governor of Vidisa (modern Bhilsa) where he married a rich merchant's daughter. On hearing of his father's impending death, he hurried to the Capital, Pataliputra, where, after occupying it, he killed all of the rival princes with the exception of his own brother. This brutality met with the opposition of the populace, delaying his coronation for four years. He ascended to the throne in 270 B.C. Eight years into his reign, he invaded Kalinga (modern Orissa) killing many thousands of people in battle whilst many thousands died from the effects of the war.
This was the turning point of his life. He halted his military campaigns and, being a Buddhist, he focused his attention instead to religious conquests, known as Dharmavijaya. He appointed his officers to tour the country on religious missions. After twenty years of his reign, he visited the Buddha's birthplace at Lumbini in modern Nepal, where he erected a pillar recording his visit. He also visited Bodh Gaya, where the Buddha attained Enlightenment, as well as Sarnath, where the Buddha preached his first sermon. It was here that he erected a pillar threatening excommunication to any monk who caused a schism in the Sangha. He abandoned meat eating for himself and advocated moral values for his subjects. He also promoted tolerance towards all religions which he supported financially.
The prevalent religions of that time were the sramanas or wandering ascetics, Brahmins, Ajivakas and Jains. He recommended that all religions desist from self praise and condemnation of others. His pronouncements were written on rocks at the periphery of his kingdom and on pillars along the main roads and where pilgims gathered. He also established many hospitals for both humans and animals At one stage, he conferred many gifts on the Buddhist Sangha which resulted in the attraction to its ranks of non-Buddhist hangers-on and disreputable people looking for an easier life. This resulted in a degeneration, and lack of purity in the Sangha. He decided to rectify this problem by convening a Sangha Council at Pataliputra to determine the true nature of Dharma practice and to banish those who would not adhere to it.
Following this Council, he decided to extend his missions to other countries, which included the Ionian Greeks, Ghandar, Kashmir, the Himalayan Regions, Mysore. Ceylon. Burma, Malaya and Sumatra. He sent his son, Mahendra, and his daughter Sanghamitra to Ceylon and their visit is celebrated in Sri Lanka by public holidays to this day. His 13th Rock Edict records that he tried to spread Buddhism to the kingdoms of Antiochus II, King of Syria, Ptolemy of Egypt, Antigonos of Macedonia, Alexander of Epirus (Northern Greece) and Magas in Cyrenia (North Africa). What a difference modern history may have been had he succeeded. Under Asoka, nearly the whole of the Indian Continent was unified for the first time in history. Dharma meant for Asoka morality, active social concern, religious tolerance, ecological awareness, observance of ethical precepts and renunciation of war.
Most Venerable Thich Nhu Dien has been a member of the Buddhist order for 55 years, passed on the Vietnamese Lam Te School in Germany and authored of over 60 books: The Vietnamese monk ThíchNhưĐiển is one of the most important representatives of Buddhism in Germany; at the same time he is a co-designer of Vietnamese integration in this country. An essay on the life and work of a Vietnamese Dharma Master on behalf of his 70th birthday.
For many Americans, the dramatic photo of the Thich Quang Duc’s self-immolation in 1963 constitutes their most enduring memory of the Vietnam War. In June of that year, as the Buddhist rebellion against Ngo Dinh Diem gained momentum, the elderly monk sat in a lotus position on a busy Saigon street and set himself on fire.
Nirvana Is Eternal Peace,
“Nirvana Is Eternal Peace”, four words on the banner on Quang Duc Buddhist Homepage about the funeral of the Most Venerable Thich Nhu Hue, as congratulations to His Holiness on the path to the Buddh
“Nirvana Is Eternal Peace”, four words on the banner on Quang Duc Buddhist Homepage about the funeral of the Most Venerable Thich Nhu Hue, as congratulations to His Holiness on the path to the Buddhahood end of June, 2016. In the Saha World, death means grieves but in Buddhism, death can be a joy (Nirvana Is Eternal Peace), is it and contrary difficult to understand?
That’s why Buddhism appears, that is to deal with this contrary. That is to radically remove the roots of birth and death cycle. If there is still birth and death, there is still suffering. No birth no death means happiness or bliss, it is simply so. In the Great Nirvana Sutra, the Buddha declares:“All formations are impermanent. They have birth and death. Birth and death ends, then comes Nir
The renowned Indian Buddhist monk Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhipala, secretary-general of the Kolkata-based Bengal Buddhist Association (BBA; also known as the Bauddha Dharmankur Sabha), died on Monday morning while undergoing treatment for COVID-19. He was 52 years old.
In a social media announcement for the revered monk, the BBA expressed deep sorrow over his death: “This was a great loss not only for the Bengal Buddhist Association, but for the world of Buddhism and humanity.” (Dharmankur Sabha Facebook)
Following Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhipala’s passing at AMRI Hospital in Mukundapur, Kolkata, on 27 July, the Supreme Sangha Councils of India and Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Buddhist Federation, the Mahabodhi Society of India, and many other organizations and eminent personalities shared messages of tribute to Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhipala and offered wishes for his attainment of the supreme bliss of nibbana.
“I wish to express our de
On September 13th, Buddhist nun, teacher, and author Pema Chödrön had the opportunity to meet President Barack Obama. There were, as you can see, smiles all around. Below, Glenna Olmsted, Executive Assistant to Pema, tells us about the meeting and how it came to be.
On 7 July His Holiness the Dalai Lama continued with his preparatory prayers for the Kalachakra initiations and was also welcomed in the United States Congress by Speaker John Boehner and congressional leaders from both the Republican and the Democratic parties... His Holiness said that after coming to India as a refugee in 1959, he began democratization process. By 2001 we already achieved elected political leadership, he said...
Born in England in 1949, Steve migrated to Australia with his parents and two brothers in 1963. Four years later he joined the Australian Army in 1967, serving in Viet Nam from 1969 to 1971. It was there he met his wife of 44 years, Tuyet. Steve has four children and six grand children.
He served 26 years in the Army and 8 more years out of the Army, until he retired in 2001 due to ill-health. Steve continued his voluntary work with Vietnam Veterans (Australian & Vietnamese) and with the Vietnamese community in Melbourne.
In 2002, Steve and Tuyet (Buddhist name: Nguyên Thiện Hạnh) made their first visit to Quang Duc Monastery and took refuge in Buddhism (with Snr. Ven. Thich Tam Phuong) in 2003.
There had been many changes to Australia since Malcolm Fraser became its 22nd Prime Ministe. During his leadership of 7 years and 4 months (11/11/1975 to 11/03/1983) with the implementation of multi-cultural promotion policies that enhance human rights, compassion and social justice, 56,000 Vietnamese boat people became Australian residents. The number has increased, leading to a community of 300,000 Vietnameses up to now.
The Buddhist community is extremely upset by the inappropriate and disrespectful use of the image of Buddha, The Buddhist community is extremely upset by the inappropriate and disrespectful use of the image of Buddha, in a display at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) entitled the 'Eternity-Buddha in Nirvana, the Dying Gaul, Farnese Hercules, Night, Day, Sartyr and Bacchante, Funerary Genius, Achilles, Persian Soldier Fighting, Dancing Faun, Crouching Aphrodite, Narcisse Couché, Othryades the Spartan Dying, the Fall of Icarus, A River, Milo of Croton'. It can also be seen at: https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/work/131149/
Although this display has been in place for some months, we have only just been made aware of its' existence. We are not usually outspoken, but this display desecrates the image of Buddha by placing images of these mythical images on him and in doing so, showing no apparent regard or respect for Him.