WAIMEA — The Rev. Kohtoku Hirao of the Waimea Shingon Mission and the Kaua‘i Buddhist Council invite the public to join the island-wide Bodhi Day Service that will be broadcast virtually on YouTube on Sunday, Dec. 6 starting at 9:30 a.m.
With the cooperation of the KBC member churches, the Rev. Tomo Hojo of the West Kaua‘i Hongwanji Mission prepared the video of the service. The floral offerings are by the individual KBC churches, including Kapa‘a Jodo Mission, Kapa‘a Hongwanji Mission, Kaua‘i Soto Zen Temple Zenshuji, Kaua‘i Tibetan Dharma Center, Koloa Jodo Mission, Lihu‘e Hongwanji Mission, West Kaua‘i Hongwanji Mission and host Waimea Shingon Mission.
Bishop Clark Zenkyu Watanabe of Kyoyasan Shingon Mission of Hawai‘i will deliver the Dharma talk.
“Please join us on the internet for this wondrous celebration,” Hirao said.
Bodhi Day, celebrated by Buddhists on the eighth day of the 12th lunar month, commemorates the day the Buddha — Siddartha Gautama — became enlightened following seven days of meditation under a bodhi tree.
A descendant of the original bodhi tree still stands in Bodh Gaya, India, within the temple walls of the Mahabodhi Temple, and a descendant of that tree grows in the back of the Kaua‘i Soto Zen Temple Zenshuji in Hanapepe.
More than 2,500 years ago, a young Prince Siddartha renounced his throne at 29 years of age, leaving his wife and son to seek the meaning of life by determining the underlying cause of suffering and unhappiness.
Following six years of ascetic practice, Siddartha decided to sit under a bodhi tree, resolving “Though my skin, my nerve and my bones should waste away, and my lifeblood becomes dry, I will not leave this seat until I have attained enlightenment.”
For seven days and seven nights, Siddartha meditated, and on the eighth morning, he awoke, having an insight to humankind’s suffering — its nature, cause and cessation. He became the Buddha, “the Enlightened One,” at the age of 35.
These became the basic tenets of Buddhism, the four noble truths and the importance of living by the eightfold path.
The path to enlightenment was to find a middle way, avoiding the extremes of self-denial and self-indulgence.
The YouTube link is youtu.be/zgOi5JqEQnc.