Category: Buddhism

An Enlightened Buddha Day to All

Whoever sees me sees the teaching.
– Buddha


Snails on Buddha’s head, Photo by PH Morton

Buddhists celebrate their most important festival of Vesak, known as Buddha Day, today. Many Buddhists will be giving gifts to the needy and doing charity work. From donating blood at hospitals to visiting orphanages and care-homes, they’ll make a special effort to bring happiness to those most in need.

Buddha Day is celebrated annually on the full moon of the ancient lunar month of Vesakha, which usually falls in May or June. The day commemorates the birth of the Buddha-to-be, his enlightenment and his final “passing” into nirvana; marking the end of the reincarnation cycle. This is the point at which a person sees and understands the true nature of things and where their desires end.

An Enlightened Buddha Day to All

ivory-happy-buddha_39Some Buddhists will visit the temple to meditate, reflect on their life and make offerings to monks; many taking time out to chant and listen to sermons. The day usually involves bringing food to offer and share, as well as supplies for the temple and symbolic offerings for the shrine. The traditional Bathing the Buddha also takes place which involves pouring water over the shoulders of statues of the Buddha to purify the mind from greed and hatred.
While celebrations vary from house to house, it’s common to release caged birds as a symbolic act of freedom, construct wooden lanterns for processions, and dress in pure white. A traditional sweet porridge dish called kheer is often eaten as well.
GlobalGranary wishes you a HAPPY BUDDHA DAY!
16 August 2015
Legend of the Snails on Buddha’s head
Nathan, my 6 years old grandson said to me that those swirly bits on top of the head of the Buddha (see above photo) were snails.   He further clarified that the snails were there to keep the Buddha cool whilst meditating.  I must admit I have never heard of that before so I googled it and found that Nathan was right.
The legend has it that the Buddha was so deep in meditation that he was unaware of the bright sun.  A snail realised what would happen so he slowly climbed on the robe of the Buddha and up his head.  He was followed by another 107 other snails, which covered the Buddha’s head in rather symmetrically aesthetic way.  When the Buddha came out of his trance, he noticed what had happened and became eternally grateful for the selflessness of the snails, who gave their lives so the Buddha did not get sunburn, thus, many of Buddha’s statues show the honoured snail martyrs.

Buddha Versus Evil (& Wrong Doings)

Buddha’s Advice Against Evil, Mistakes & Errors

Buddha By PH Morton

By PH Morton

An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may would your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.
– Buddha

Overcome anger by love, evil by good, the greedy by generosity, and the liar by truth.
– Buddha

The evildoer suffers in this world, and he suffers in the next; he suffers in both. He suffers when he thinks of the evil he has done; he suffers more when going on the evil path.
– The Buddha
There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.
– The Buddha

When you know in yourself that something is bad, then give it up, and accept the good and follow it.
– Buddha
Work out your own salvation with diligence.
– Buddha
You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.
– Buddha

Hydrangea Also Known As Hortensia

I have been reading about Hydrangea and I must say it is a very interesting plant. It is not only a beautiful shrub with verdant leaves but provide a long lasting bouquets of little flowers in a huge flowerhead.

We have got a few in our garden, we have got the pink variety. Apparently the pink variety has a very romantic meaning which I really love, so much so that I think I or we shall only have pink hydrangea in our garden (unless other colours of hydrangeas have equally romantic meaning, 😉 lol). The pink hydrangea means “You are the beat of my heart,”. Awww

Hydrangea Also Known As Hortensia, The Facts:

It belongs to a genus of between 70-75 species

It originated from southern and eastern Asia (China, Japan, Korea, the Himalayas, and Indonesia) and the Americas. 

Hydrangea flowers from early spring to late autumn.

Hydrangea has at least 600 known cultivars, meaning there are 600 plant varieties that have been produced in cultivation by selective breeding. 

Hydrangea usual flowers are coloured white, but the PH of the soil changes their colour.

Hydrangea can be moderately toxic, so be careful with young children and pets.


Despite its mild toxicity, some varieties of teas are made from hydrangea, specifically the hydrangea serrata.  This species produce phyllodulcin, a natural sweetener.  Japan make Ama-Cha, literally means sweet tea from the hydrangea serrata.  Ama-cha is then used in a festival celebrating Buddha’s birth, which is thought in Japan to be  8 April.  The ama-cha is poured over the statue of the Buddha to commemorate his birth, re-enacting the acts of  the 9 dragons pouring amrita over him.  Japan use ama-cha as a substitute for amrita.

Korea also make herbal tea from the hydrangea serrata but a more prosaic version without dragons and bathing buddha.  It is called sugukcha or ilsulcha.

From our photo above, I noticed that the hydrangea planted directly on the ground flowers first than the one on the pot.  I remember buying an identical cultivar, but the one in the pot has turned lighter in pigmentation compared to the more verdant ground dwelling hydrangea.

Buddha’s Birthplace

This is really an interesting find.

According to a book I read about Buddhism, everyone can become a buddha.  It is not really a religion but one of enlightenment.  Everyone is capable of enlightenment as long as they follow some precepts.  The Buddha was not a god but rather one who was enlightened. By following the path he’d taken, one can be like him too.

Since it was not really a religion, i.e. believing in a god, so can a Christian in some way a Buddhist Christian?

hmmmm,  well the only way is to find out…  is to become and englightened Christian.  Be a Buddha for Jesus!

awww  headache …..





In the Far East there was once a prince whose name was Gautama. He lived in a splendid palace where there was everything that could give delight. It was the wish of his father and mother that every day of his life should be a day of perfect happiness.

So this prince grew up to be a young man, tall and fair and graceful. He had never gone beyond the beautiful gardens that surrounded his father’s palace. He had never seen nor heard of sorrow or sickness or poverty. Everything that was evil or disagreeable had been carefully kept out of his sight. He knew only of those things that give joy and health and peace.

But one day after he had become a man, he said: “Tell me about the great world which, you say, lies outside of these palace walls. It must be a beautiful and happy place; and I wish to know all about it.” “Yes, it is a beautiful place,” was the answer. “In it there are numberless trees and flowers and rivers and waterfalls, and other things to make the heart glad.”

“Then to-morrow I will go out and see some of those things,” he said.

His parents and friends begged him not to go. They told him that there were beautiful things at home—why go away to see other things less beautiful? But when they saw that his mind was set on going, they said no more.

The next morning, Gautama sat in his carriage and rode out from the palace into one of the streets of the city. He looked with wonder at the houses on either side, and at the faces of the children who stood in the doorways as he passed. At first he did not see anything that disturbed him; for word had gone before him to remove from sight everything that might be displeasing or painful.

Soon the carriage turned into another street—a street less carefully guarded. Here there were no children at the doors. But suddenly, at a narrow place, they met a very old man, hobbling slowly along over the stony way.

“Who is that man?” asked Gautama, “and why is his face so pinched and his hair so white? Why do his legs tremble under him as he walks, leaning upon a stick? He seems weak, and his eyes are dull. Is he some new kind of man?”

“Sir,” answered the coachman, “that is an old man. He has lived more than eighty years. All who reach old age must lose their strength and become like him, feeble and gray.”

“Alas!” said the prince. “Is this the condition to which I must come?”

“If you live long enough,” was the answer.

“What do you mean by that? Do not all persons live eighty years—yes, many times eighty years?”

The coachman made no answer, but drove onward.

They passed out into the open country and saw the cottages of the poor people. By the door of one of these a sick man was lying upon a couch, helpless and pale.

“Why is that man lying there at this time of day?” asked the prince.
“His face is white, and he seems very weak. Is he also an old man?”

“Oh, no! He is sick,” answered the coachman. “Poor people are often sick.” “What does that mean?” asked the prince. “Why are they sick?”

The coachman explained as well as he was able; and they rode onward.

Soon they saw a company of men toiling by the roadside. Their faces were browned by the sun; their hands were hard and gnarly; their backs were bent by much heavy lifting; their clothing was in tatters.

“Who are those men, and why do their faces look so joyless?” asked the prince. “What are they doing by the roadside?”

“They are poor men, and they are working to improve the king’s highway,” was the answer.

“Poor men? What does that mean?”

“Most of the people in the world are poor,” said the coachman. “Their lives are spent in toiling for the rich. Their joys are few; their sorrows are many.”

“And is this the great, beautiful, happy world that I have been told about?” cried the prince. “How weak and foolish I have been to live in idleness and ease while there is so much sadness and trouble around me. Turn the carriage quickly, coachman, and drive home. Henceforth, I will never again seek my own pleasure. I will spend all my life, and give all that I have, to lessen the distress and sorrow with which this world seems filled.”

This the prince did. One night he left the beautiful palace which his father had given to him and went out into the world to do good and to help his fellow men. And to this day, millions of people remember and honor the name of Gautama, as that of the great lover of men.

‘Exciting’ Discovery At Buddha’s Birthplace

Sky NewsSky News – 36 minutes ago

'Exciting' Discovery At Buddha's Birthplace

‘Exciting’ Discovery At Buddha’s Birthplace

The Buddha may have lived centuries later than some historians have suggested, a dig at his birthplace has revealed.

Archaeologists made the discovery during excavations of an ancient shrine at the Maya Devi Temple in Lumbini, Nepal.

The Unesco world heritage site has long been identified as the birthplace of the Buddha but the dig has revealed artefacts that pinpoint his life to a specific century for the first time.

As well as narrowing down his birthday, archaeologists believe they may also have located his exact birthplace.

His mother, Queen Maya Devi, is thought to have given birth while holding on to the branch of a tree in the Lumbini garden, midway between the kingdoms of her husband and parents.

It is thought the tree may have been situated in an open space at the centre of the newly-excavated shrine.

Professor Robin Coningham, of Durham University, led a team of 15 British historians who had to go barefoot or wear slippers during the excavation because shoes are forbidden in the sacred temple.

“(This) is one of the most exciting discoveries in terms of Buddhist archaeology since the early discoveries of the sites because we now have an idea of what the earliest Buddhist shrine looked like,” he said.

“The significance for us is that the shrine is built around a tree and the fact that the Buddhist birth story is connected with a tree.

“It is one of those really rare occasions when belief, tradition, archaeology and excavation actually come together.”

Experts have disagreed on precisely when the Buddha was born, placing the date anywhere between the early 400s BC and up to three centuries earlier.

The archaeologists, who spent three winters at the site, digging only when the water table was at its lowest, now believe he lived during the sixth century BC.

Buddhism is based largely on the teachings of the Buddha, or Siddhartha Gautama, and is one of the world’s oldest religions.

Many hundreds of thousands of Buddhists from around the world make the pilgrimage to Lumbini every year.