Birthday the atta/jati celerbration

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Birthday the atta/jati celerbration

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:01 am

For sure a topic that might raise many controverses.

In traditional countries, the celerbrating of birthday was as good as unknown. If we discover the teachings of the Buddha a little, its not difficult why people did not celerbrate it at all.
Now that is a total differnt situation to our modern times as well as a dramatic change through modern times influences in the traditional countries.

Would a serious praticing Buddhist celerbrate Birthday?

As a warm-up maybe a similie from Ajhan Chah:

The Beginning Is the End

When we're born we're already dead, you know. Aging and death are the same thing. It's like a tree. Part of it's the base; part of it's the end at the tip. When there's a base, there's an end. When there's an end, there's a base. When there's no base, there's no end. When there's an end, there has to be a base. An end without a base: That can't be. That's how it is.

So it's kind of amusing. When a person dies, we're sad and upset. We sit and cry, grieving — all kinds of things. That's delusion. It's delusion, you know. When a person dies we sob and cry. That's the way it's been since who knows when. We don't stop to examine this carefully. Actually — and excuse me for saying this — it appears to me that if you're going to cry when a person dies, it'd be better to cry when a person is born. But we have it all backwards. When a child is born, people beam and laugh from happiness. But actually birth is death. Death is birth. The beginning is the end; the end is the beginning.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Birthday the atta/jati celerbration

Postby Ben » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:14 am

Hanzze wrote:Would a serious praticing Buddhist celerbrate Birthday?

Why not?
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

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Re: Birthday the atta/jati celerbration

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:17 am

The first word that comes to my mind was: perverse (contrariwise)

Somehow it is as perverse for our normal understanding to celerbrate death.
Last edited by Hanzze on Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Birthday the atta/jati celerbration

Postby Ben » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:18 am

ok, but what's the big deal about celebrating (or not celebrating) birthdays?
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

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Re: Birthday the atta/jati celerbration

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:27 am

That's a good question, that even carries the answer.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Birthday the atta/jati celerbration

Postby Ben » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:29 am

Hanzze wrote:That's a good question, that even carries the answer.

Well, I'm glad we got that one sorted.
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


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Re: Birthday the atta/jati celerbration

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:57 pm

Can you explain what you mean by sorted?
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Birthday the atta/jati celerbration

Postby Ben » Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:05 pm

Yes.
In this context it means 'resolved'.
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


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Re: Birthday the atta/jati celerbration

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:08 pm

Great. Let us keep silent. ;)
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Birthday the atta/jati celerbration

Postby Ben » Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:11 pm

No, I would prefer you tell me why you have a problem with celebrating birthdays.
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global Relief
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Re: Birthday the atta/jati celerbration

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:17 pm

Nothing, as long as it is does not generate to a Buddhist tradition. Although, that is also not a big deal.

Let me ask you why it is a big deal for you to know why it would be maybe a big deal with a problem with celebrating birthdays?
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Birthday the atta/jati celerbration

Postby Ben » Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:20 pm

Hanzze,

You asked the question:

Would a serious praticing Buddhist celerbrate Birthday?


And I asked in response:

Why not?
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global Relief
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Re: Birthday the atta/jati celerbration

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:24 pm

I guess to answer this would just be a rebirth of the previous post. So we can say, the first birthday. Let us celerbrate. :candle:

Do you find that this makes sence? Or is it somehow irritating to celerbrate such a happening?
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Birthday the atta/jati celerbration

Postby Ben » Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:29 pm

Do you find your birthday celebrations irritating, Hanzze?
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


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Re: Birthday the atta/jati celerbration

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:51 pm

To celebrate* birthday is somehow allways iritating ("exciting, provoking"). In case of jati-worship or atta-worship and Dhamma the word "provoking" seems to be the most appropriate.

* 1. to observe (a day) or commemorate (an event) with ceremonies or festivities
2. to make known publicly; proclaim
3. to praise widely or to present to widespread and favorable public notice, as through newspapers or novels.
4. to perform with appropriate rites and ceremonies


What about addoting this common tradition/ceremony and give it a new color? Maybe a kind of Jati-remember-day, a kind of special meditative day. Or would that be to much iritating?
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Birthday the atta/jati celerbration

Postby Ben » Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:58 pm

I think you're reading too much into it, Hanzze.
Its not unknown for monks to have a birthday celebration.
In fact, my friend Ajahn Dhammanando, is in Chiang Mai at the moment to celebrate the 90th birthday of his preceptor.
But if one wishes to celebrate their birthday to attend a meditation retreat and one does not have any family obligations - well and good.
kind regards,

Ben
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


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Re: Birthday the atta/jati celerbration

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:07 pm

Well I know such occations as well... crazy times aren't they.

Birthdayparties are very modern in SEAsian Wats, even with baloons, firework,... It's somehow differnt if people invite and celerbrate to their brithday and if people would take it as a possibility to pay gratitude.

Some years ago, people even did not know their birthday. It is really something special if a 90 years old monk would know his birthday, that is nothing ordinary. I guess that tratition is more a annual ritual which might got confused with birthday.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Birthday the atta/jati celerbration

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:18 pm

We sometimes give a Dane to the local temple in view of the birthday. I guess it is an 'excuse' to make the birthday boy or girl feel special- an act of generosity and mudita. We are not celebrating 'birth', more it is doing something nice for that person. We have to look at it from a conventional metta,dana perspective rather than an ultimate vipassana, yonisomanasikara perspective.

With metta

Matheesha
Ps- my birthday is coming up soon, so I maybe bit biased :D
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
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Re: Birthday the atta/jati celerbration

Postby Hanzze » Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:04 am

Some additional thought:

Birthday form a Buddhist view, the day of birth is not really the day one leaves the mother womb. Birth, rebrith takes place with the conception. "Curiosly" in some SEAsian countries, the counting of ages starts with one. So people if you ask, would be one year older then if you count the years from the day of birth form a western view. A new born, if asking is one year old.

The brithday (leaving the physical connection with the mother) would be somehow an excellent day to pay respect and gratitude to once mother and maybe to thanks for all the generisity that was received till this day. So it would be maybe a perfect day to honor mother father an all supporters and friends.

In regard of the worship day of the preceptor, I guess that is simply a confusion. The honoring day of the preceptor, as far as I know, has long tradition. I guess it is simply mixed up with new and strange trends.

Birthday celerbration is also something new in western culture and had never this kind of dimensions (atta/jati/conceit...).

Some views to religions (wiki):

Judaism

In Judaism, the perspective on birthday celebrations is disputed by various rabbis.[15] In the Hebrew Bible, the one single mention of a celebration being held in commemoration of someone's day of birth is for the Egyptian Pharaoh which is recorded in Genesis 40:20.[16] Rabbi Moshe Feinstein always acknowledged birthdays.[17] The Lubavitcher Rebbe actually launched a campaign to encourage people to celebrate their birthdays, by gathering friends, making positive resolutions, and through various religious observances.[18] According to Rabbi Yissocher Frand, a person's birthday is a special day for that person's prayers to be accepted.[19]

The bar mitzvah of 13-year-old Jewish boys, or bat mitzvah for 12-year-old Jewish girls, is perhaps the only Jewish celebration undertaken in what is often perceived to be in coalition with a birthday. However, the essence of a bar/bat mitzvah celebration is entirely religious in origin (i.e. the attainment of religious maturity according to Jewish law) and not secular, despite modern celebrations where the secular "birthday" element often overshadows the essence of it as a religious rite. With or without the "birthday" celebration, the child nevertheless becomes a bar or bat mitzvah, and the celebration can be on that day or any date after it.

Christianity
Christianity: Early centuries

The early Christians did not celebrate Christ's birth because they considered the celebration of anyone's birth to be a pagan custom.[citation needed] For example Origen in his commentary "On Levites" writes that Christians should not only refrain from celebrating their birthdays, but should look on them with disgust.[20]

Orthodox Christianity still prefers the celebration of name days only.

Christianity: Medieval

Ordinary folk celebrated their saint's day (the saint they were named after), but nobility celebrated birthdays. The "Squire's Tale," one of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, opens as King Cambuskan proclaims a feast to celebrate his birthday.[21]

Christianity: Modern

Jehovah's Witnesses and some Sacred Name groups refrain from celebrating birthdays, as did the early Christians of Christs era, on the basis that they are portrayed in a negative light in the Bible and have historical connections with magic, superstitions, and Paganism.[22][23][24][25][26]
Islam

Some clerics consider the celebration of a birthday to be a sin, as it is considered an "innovation" of the faith, or bi'dah while other clerics have issued statements saying that the celebration of a birthday is permissible.[27][28]

Some Muslims (and Arabian Christians) migrating to the United States adopt the custom of celebrating birthdays, especially for children, but others resist.[29]

There is also a great deal of controversy regarding celebrating Milad-ul-Nabi - the birth anniversary of Muhammad. While a section of Islam strongly favours it,[30] others decry such celebrations, terming them as out of the scope of Islam.[31]
Hindus

Hindus celebrate the birth anniversary day every year when the day that corresponds to lunar month or solar month (Sun Signs Nirayana System – Sourava Mana Masa) of birth and has the same asterism (Star / Nakshatra) as that of the date of birth. That age is reckoned whenever Janma Nakshatra of the same month passes.


Only the romans enthusiastically celebrated birthdays with hedonistic parties and generous presents, as far as my reseaches reaches. But even the Gaul use to say:

These romans are crazy! But after a while... Image

Some wage but interessting researches about the origin: Happy birthday
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Birthday the atta/jati celerbration

Postby Ben » Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:30 am

Hi Hanzze,

Like many things, birthdays can be used to strengthen one's conceit, greed and ego, or it could be a tool to express one's gratitude, to develop humility and loving kindness.
kidn regards,

Ben
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global Relief
UNHCR Syria Emergency Relief AppealTyphoon Haiyan Relief AppealKiva: (person to person micro-finance)

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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