This is a Mahayana Buddhist festival which in India is known as
Parinirvana. (Celebrated by some Buddhists on 15th Febraury). This festival marks the death of  Buddha and celebrates when, at the age of 80, he finally attained nirvana (enlightenment) and was released from the cycle of death and rebirth: freedom from physical existence and its sufferings. Mahayana or Theravada Buddhists meditate or visit temples or monasteries, and the day is treated as a social occasion. Nirvana Day celebrations vary throughout the world but usually include food preparation and the exchange of gifts such as money, household goods, or clothing.

The day is used as an opportunity to reflect on one’s own future death.  Meditations are carried out for newly deceased friends and relatives to give them help and support wherever they might be now.  The idea that all things are transient is central to Buddhist teaching. Loss and impermanence are things to be accepted rather than causes of grief.

For further information on Parinirvana.

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This entry was posted on Monday, February 8th, 2010 at 1:29 pm and is filed under days of significance, General, social practices, South Asia . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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