Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche
Khenpo Karma Tharchin Rinpoche known by his abbreviated name Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, is a senior lama of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. As of 2016 he serves as abbot of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Monastery in Woodstock, NY. Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche practices and teaches Mahamudra and Dzogchen and has served as Retreat Master for several three-year retreats, he has taught Buddhist history and philosophy at every level, written several books on philosophy and the practice of meditation, conferred initiation at every level of Vajrayana practice, including Anuttarayogatantra. He has hosted visits and teachings by the lamas of the Karma Kagyu and other lineages, including a visit to KTD by the 14th Dalai Lama in September 2006, in late May 2008 presided over the enthronement of the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje in his principal seat in the West at KTD. Born in Kham, Tibet to a nomadic family, Khenpo Rinpoche is not a tulku or reincarnate lama, but has achieved his realization in this lifetime.
He began his religious training under his parents, who were both devout practitioners, at the age of 12 entered Thrangu Monastery to continue his education. At age 20, he received the Gelong ordination from the 11th Tai Situ Rinpoche at Palpung Monastery. Following a series of retreats including the traditional 3-year retreat, he was sent by his guru the 8th Traleg Rinpoche to Thrangu Monastery for advanced education in Buddhist studies. After five years of study, at age 30, he began teaching. In 1958, in the company of the 9th Thrangu Rinpoche, the 9th Traleg Rinpoche and others, he fled the Chinese Communist destruction of Thrangu Monastery by undertaking an arduous several-month-long trek to Tsurphu Monastery. After a month's rest, the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa sent them on to take refuge in Bhutan, where Khenpo Rinpoche remained for eight years. In 1967 Rinpoche was called to Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, India to teach the monks and engage in pastoral ministry for the local community. For the next several years he was sent from place to place to teach and minister, in 1975 the 16th Karmapa bestowed upon him the title of Chöje Lama.
In 1976 the Gyalwa Karmapa sent Khenpo Rinpoche to establish a seat for the Karmapas in North America and to serve as abbot for a new monastery there. Rinpoche traveled to New York City and on to Woodstock, NY, where he founded Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Monastery and a series of local teaching centers across the United States, he was joined by the 3rd Bardor Tulku Rinpoche and, together with lay representative Tenzin Chonyi and local practitioners, they progressed from teaching in an old hotel to building both a traditional Tibetan monastery complex and a nearby retreat center with facilities for both men and women. In August 1990, Rinpoche assisted the 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche in transmitting the Kalachakra initiation in Toronto, Canada. Through the late 90s, he organized and led several pilgrimages to Tsurphu Monastery in Tibet to meet the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa and hosted the 12th Tai Situ Rinpoche at KTD for a series of residential teachings. Since he left Tibet in January, 2000, Khenpo has led several pilgrimages to visit him in India.
In September, 2006, the 14th Dalai Lama accepted Khenpo Rinpoche's invitation to visit and teach at Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, in May 2008 and July 2011, Rinpoche hosted the 17th Karmapa Orgyen Trinley Dorje in residence at KTD. In July 2010, Rinpoche organized and presided over the first Kagyu Monlam to be held in the Americas. In addition to having established 28 teaching centers in the USA, 3 in Canada and 4 in South America, Rinpoche has many students in Taiwan and Central America and is known in Tibetan communities across Tibet, Bhutan and India. Khenpo Rinpoche is now 94 years old and continues to maintain an active teaching and ministerial schedule. For example, over May 17–19, 2013 he transmitted the Khenpo Gangshar mind teachings and from July 13–21, 2013, Rinpoche delivered the first-ever Spanish-language retreat and simultaneous webcast, attended in person by 60 Spanish-speaking pilgrims and across the internet by 1900 people from 39 countries. From 22–31 August 2014, he conducted the first public transmission in English of the Pointing Out Instructions for Mahamudra from Torch of Certainty by the 1st Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche.
In April 2015, he welcomed the 17th Karmapa back to KTD Monastery for an 11-day visit, his third visit to the United States and to KTD Monastery. Over 17–23 July 2016, Rinpoche led the first-ever Spanish-language Chöd retreat. From 2015–present, Khenpo has been delivering oral transmission and commentary on several seminal teachings by Karma Chagme. Bardo: Interval of Possibility, Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche's Teaching on Aspiration for Liberation in the Bardo, by Chokyi Wangchuk with Commentary by Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, translated by Yeshe Gyamtso, KTD Publications ISBN 0-9741092-2-3 Dharma Paths, by Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, edited by Laura Roth, Snow Lion Publications ISBN 1-55939-002-6 The Instructions of Gampopa, A Precious Garland of the Supreme Path, by Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, Snow Lion Publications ISBN 1-55939-046-8 Karma Chakme's Mountain Dharma, in four volumes, by Karma Chagme with commentary by Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, translated by Yeshe Gyamtso, KTD Publications ISBN 0-9741092-0-7, ISBN 0-9741092-1-5, ISBN 978-1-934608-01-2, ISBN 978-1-934608-07-4 The Quintessence of the Union of Mahamudra and Dzokchen by Karma Chagme with
Ānanda was the primary attendant of the Buddha and one of his ten principal disciples. Among the Buddha's many disciples, Ānanda stood out for having the best memory. Most of the texts of the early Buddhist Sutta-Piṭaka are attributed to his recollection of the Buddha's teachings during the First Buddhist Council. For that reason, he is known as the Treasurer of the Dhamma, with Dhamma referring to the Buddha's teaching. In Early Buddhist Texts, Ānanda was the first cousin of the Buddha. Although the early texts do not agree on many parts of Ānanda's early life, they do agree that Ānanda was ordained as a monk and that Puṇṇa Mantāniputta became his teacher. Twenty years in the Buddha's ministry, Ānanda became the attendant of the Buddha, when the Buddha selected him for this task. Ānanda performed his duties with great devotion and care, acted as an intermediary between the Buddha and the laypeople, as well as the saṅgha. He accompanied the Buddha for the rest of his life, acting not only as an assistant, but a secretary and a mouthpiece.
Scholars are skeptical about the historicity of many events in Ānanda's life the First Council, consensus about this has yet to be established. A traditional account can be drawn from early texts and post-canonical chronicles. Ānanda had an important role in establishing the order of bhikkhunīs, when he requested the Buddha on behalf of the latter's foster-mother Mahāpajāpati Gotamī to allow her to be ordained. Ānanda accompanied the Buddha in the last year of his life, therefore was witness to many tenets and principles that the Buddha conveyed before his death, including the well-known principle that the Buddhist community should take his teaching and discipline as their refuge, that he would not appoint a new leader. The final period of the Buddha's life shows that Ānanda was much attached to the Buddha's person, he saw the Buddha's passing with great sorrow. Shortly after the Buddha's death, the First Council was convened, Ānanda managed to attain enlightenment just before the council started, a requirement.
He had a historical role during the council as the living memory of the Buddha, reciting many of the Buddha's discourses and checking them for accuracy. During the same council, however, he was chastised by Mahākassapa and the rest of the saṅgha for allowing women to be ordained and failing to understand or respect the Buddha at several crucial moments. Ānanda continued to teach until the end of his life, passing on his spiritual heritage to his pupils Sāṇavāsī and Majjhantika, among others, who assumed leading roles in the Second and Third Councils. Ānanda died 20 years after the Buddha, stūpas were erected at the river where he died. Ānanda was one of the most loved figures in Buddhism. He was known for his memory and compassion, was praised by the Buddha for these matters, he functioned as a foil to the Buddha, however, in that he still had worldly attachments and was not yet enlightened, as opposed to the Buddha. In the Sanskrit textual traditions, Ānanda is considered the patriarch of the Dhamma, who stood in a spiritual lineage, receiving the teaching from Mahākassapa and passing them on to his own pupils.
Ānanda has been honored by bhikkhunīs since early medieval times for his merits in establishing the nun's order. In recent times, the composer Richard Wagner and Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore were inspired by stories about Ānanda in their work; the word ānanda means ` bliss, joy' in Sanskrit. Pāli commentaries explain. Texts from the Mūlasarvāstivāda tradition, state that since Ānanda was born on the day of the Buddha's enlightenment, there was great rejoicing in the city—hence the name. According to the texts, in a previous life, Ānanda made an aspiration to become a Buddha's attendant, he made this aspiration in the time of a previous Buddha called Padumuttara, many eons before the present age. He aspired to be like him in a future life. After having done many good deeds, he made his resolution known to the Padumuttara Buddha, who confirmed that his wish will come true in a future life. After having been born and reborn throughout many lifetimes, doing many good deeds, he was born as Ānanda in the time of the current Buddha Gotama.
Ānanda was born in the same time period as the Buddha, which scholars place at 5th–4th centuries BCE. Tradition says that Ānanda was the first cousin of the Buddha, his father being the brother of Suddhodana, the Buddha's father. In the Pāli and Mūlasarvāstivāda textual traditions, his father was Amitodana, but the Mahāvastu states that his father was Śuklodana—both are brothers of Suddhodana; the Mahāvastu mentions that Ānanda's mother's name was Mṛgī. The Pāli tradition has it that Ānanda was born on the same day as Prince Siddhatta, but texts from the Mūlasarvāstivāda and subsequent Mahāyāna traditions state Ānanda was born at the same time the Buddha attained enlightenment, was therefore much younger than the Buddha; the latter tradition is corroborated by several instances in the Early Buddhist Texts, in which Ānanda appears younger than the Buddha, such as the passage in which the Buddha explained to Ānanda how old age was affecting him in bo
Vajrapāṇi is one of the earliest-appearing bodhisattvas in Mahayana Buddhism. He rose to symbolize the Buddha's power. Vajrapāni is extensively represented in Buddhist iconography as one of the earliest three protective deities or bodhisattvas surrounding the Buddha; each of them symbolizes one of the Buddha's virtues: Manjushri manifests all the Buddhas' wisdom, Avalokiteśvara manifests all the Buddhas' immense compassion, Vajrapāni protects Buddha and manifests all the Buddhas' power as well as the power of all five tathāgatas. Vajrapāni is one of the earliest Dharmapalas of Mahayana Buddhism and appears as a deity in the Pali Canon of the Theravada school, he is worshiped in Tibetan Buddhism and in Pure Land Buddhism. Manifestations of Vajrapāni can be found in many Buddhist temples in Japan as Dharma protectors called Nio. Vajrapāni is associated with Acala, venerated as Fudō-Myōō in Japan, where he is serenaded as the holder of the vajra. Vajrapāni is a compound word in Sanskrit in which'Vajra' means "thunderbolt or diamond" and'pāni' means "in the hand".
In human form Vajrapāni is depicted holding the vajra in his right hand. He is sometimes referred to as a Dhyani-Bodhisattva, equivalent to Akshobhya, the second Dhyani Buddha. Acharya-Vajrapani is Vajrapani's manifestation as Dharmapala seen sporting a third eye, ghanta and pāśa, he is sometimes represented as a yidam with one head and four hands in a form known as Nilambara-Vajrapani, carrying a vajra, treading on personage lying on snakes. Mahacakra-Vajrapani a yidam, is depicted with three heads and six arms, carrying a vajra and snakes whilst treading on Brahma and Shiva, he is in union with his consort in yab-yum. Acala-Vajrapani is depicted with four heads, four arms and four legs carrying a sword, a lasso and vajra, treading on demons. Another depiction is in the form with the head and claws of Garuda. Vajrapāni's expression is wrathful, is symbolized as a yaksha, to generate "fear in the individual to loosen up his dogmatism." His outstretched right hand brandishes a vajra, "symbolizing analytical knowledge that disintegrates the grasping of consciousness Although he sometimes wears a skull crown, in most depictions he wears a five-pointed bodhisattva crown to depict the power of the five Dhyani Buddhas.
The mantra oṃ. His Seed Syllable is hūṃ. Tibetan: ཨོཾ་བཛྲ་པཱ་ཎི་ཧཱུྂ༔ In early Buddhist legends, Vajrapāni is a minor deity who accompanied Gautama Buddha during his career as a wandering mendicant. In some texts he is said to be a manifestation of Śakra, king of the Trāyastriṃśa heaven of Buddhist and Hindu cosmology and god of rain as depicted in the idols of the Gandharva; as Śakra, it is said. As Vajrapāni he was the god who helped Gautama escape from the palace at the time of his renunciation; when Sakyamuni returned from Kapilavastu he is stated to have assumed eight forms of devas who escorted him. According to Xuanzang, the Chinese monk and traveler, Vajrapāni vanquished a large serpent at Udyana. In another version it is stated that while the Nāgas came to worship the Buddha and hear his sermons, Vajrapāni assumed the form of a bird to deceive them so that they were not attacked by their deadly enemies, the Garudas. At the parinirvana of the Buddha, Vajrapāni dropped his vajra in despair and rolled himself in the dust.
Vajrapāni is seen as a manifestation of Vajradhara and the "spiritual reflex", the Dhyani Bodhisattva of Akshobhya. On the popular level, Vajrapāni is the bodhisattva who represents the power of all the buddhas just as Avalokiteśvara represents their great compassion, Mañjuśrī their wisdom, he is called the Master of Unfathomable Mysteries who upholds truth in adversities of darkness and ignorance. According to the Pañcaviṃsatisāhasrikā- and Aṣṭasāhasrikāprajñāpāramitās, any bodhisattva on the path to buddhahood is eligible for Vajrapāni's protection, making them invincible to any attacks "by either men or ghosts". In Cambodia, three monasteries dated to 953 AD are dedicated to the worship of the triad of the Buddha - Prajnaparamita and Vajrapani. In niches are standing images of Vajrapani carved with four or two arms on each of the four faces of monoliths found in Western Cambodia; as Buddhism expanded in Central Asia and fused with Hellenistic influences into Greco-Buddhism, the Greek hero Heracles was adopted to represent Vajrapāni.
In that era, he was depicted as a hairy, muscular athlete, wielding a short "diamond" club. Buddhaghosa associated Vajrapāni with the deva king Indra; some authors considers that the deity, depicted is Zeus, whose Classical attribute is the thunderbolt. During the Kushana period Gandhara art depicted Vajrapani's images in which he is shown as a protector of Sakhyamuni and not in the role of a bodhisattva. In the Indrasalaguha scenes, mountains form a part of his environment where his presence during the conversion of the naga Apalala is shown. In these depictions he is shown wearing exclusive Western attire and always in the presence of other deities; the reliefs in this art form depict Vajrapani always present in the scenes where Buddha is converting people. Scenes of Shakyamuni competing with the heretics are part of this art tradition. Scenes of Buddha using the
Gautama Buddha known as Siddhārtha Gautama in Sanskrit or Siddhattha Gotama in Pali, Shakyamuni Buddha, or the Buddha, after the title of Buddha, was a monk, sage, philosopher and religious leader on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. He is believed to have lived and taught in the northeastern part of ancient India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. Gautama taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the śramaṇa movement common in his region, he taught throughout other regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kosala. Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism, he is believed by Buddhists to be an enlightened teacher who attained full Buddhahood and shared his insights to help sentient beings end rebirth and suffering. Accounts of his life and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarised after his death and memorized by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition and first committed to writing about 400 years later.
Scholars are hesitant to make unqualified claims about the historical facts of the Buddha's life. Most people accept that the Buddha lived and founded a monastic order during the Mahajanapada era during the reign of Bimbisara, the ruler of the Magadha empire, died during the early years of the reign of Ajatasatru, the successor of Bimbisara, thus making him a younger contemporary of Mahavira, the Jain tirthankara. While the general sequence of "birth, renunciation, search and liberation, death" is accepted, there is less consensus on the veracity of many details contained in traditional biographies; the times of Gautama's birth and death are uncertain. Most historians in the early 20th century dated his lifetime as c. 563 BCE to 483 BCE. More his death is dated between 411 and 400 BCE, while at a symposium on this question held in 1988, the majority of those who presented definite opinions gave dates within 20 years either side of 400 BCE for the Buddha's death; these alternative chronologies, have not been accepted by all historians.
The evidence of the early texts suggests that Siddhārtha Gautama was born into the Shakya clan, a community, on the periphery, both geographically and culturally, of the eastern Indian subcontinent in the 5th century BCE. One of his usual names was "Sakamuni" or "Sakyamunī", it was either a small republic, or an oligarchy, his father was an elected chieftain, or oligarch. According to the Buddhist tradition, Gautama was born in Lumbini, now in modern-day Nepal, raised in the Shakya capital of Kapilvastu, which may have been either in what is present day Tilaurakot, Nepal or Piprahwa, India. According to Buddhist tradition, he obtained his enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, gave his first sermon in Sarnath, died in Kushinagar. Apart from the Vedic Brahmins, the Buddha's lifetime coincided with the flourishing of influential Śramaṇa schools of thought like Ājīvika, Cārvāka, Ajñana. Brahmajala Sutta records sixty-two such schools of thought. In this context, a śramaṇa refers to one who toils, or exerts themselves.
It was the age of influential thinkers like Mahavira, Pūraṇa Kassapa, Makkhali Gosāla, Ajita Kesakambalī, Pakudha Kaccāyana, Sañjaya Belaṭṭhaputta, as recorded in Samaññaphala Sutta, whose viewpoints the Buddha most must have been acquainted with. Indeed and Moggallāna, two of the foremost disciples of the Buddha, were the foremost disciples of Sañjaya Belaṭṭhaputta, the sceptic. There is philological evidence to suggest that the two masters, Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, were indeed historical figures and they most taught Buddha two different forms of meditative techniques. Thus, Buddha was just one of the many śramaṇa philosophers of that time. In an era where holiness of person was judged by their level of asceticism, Buddha was a reformist within the śramaṇa movement, rather than a reactionary against Vedic Brahminism; the life of the Buddha coincided with the Achaemenid conquest of the Indus Valley during the rule of Darius I from about 517/516 BCE. This Achaemenid occupation of the areas of Gandhara and Sindh, to last for about two centuries, was accompanied by the introduction of Achaemenid religions, reformed Mazdaism or early Zoroastrianism, to which Buddhism might have in part reacted.
In particular, the ideas of the Buddha may have consisted of a rejection of the "absolutist" or "perfectionist" ideas contained in these Achaemenid religions. No written records about Gautama were found from his lifetime or from the one or two centuries thereafter. In the middle of the 3rd century BCE, several Edicts of Ashoka mention the Buddha, Ashoka's Rummindei Minor Pillar Edict commemorates the Emperor's pilgrimage to Lumbini as the Buddha's birthplace. Another one of his edicts mentions the titles of several Dhamma texts, establishing the existence of a written Buddhist tradition at least by the time of the Maurya era; these texts may be the precursor of the Pāli Canon. "Sakamuni" in mentioned in the reliefs of Bharhut, dated to circa 100 BCE, in relation with his illumination and the Bodhi tree, with the inscription Bhagavato Sakamunino Bodho. The oldest surviving Buddhist manuscripts are the Gandhāran Buddhist texts, repor
Nirvāṇa is associated with Jainism and Buddhism, represents its ultimate state of soteriological release, the liberation from repeated rebirth in saṃsāra. In Indian religions, nirvana is synonymous with mukti. All Indian religions assert it to be a state of perfect quietude, highest happiness as well as the liberation from or ending of samsara, the repeating cycle of birth and death; however and non-Buddhist traditions describe these terms for liberation differently. In the Buddhist context, nirvana refers to realization of non-self and emptiness, marking the end of rebirth by stilling the fires that keep the process of rebirth going. In Hindu philosophy, it is the union of or the realization of the identity of Atman with Brahman, depending on the Hindu tradition. In Jainism, it is the soteriological goal, it represents the release of a soul from karmic bondage and samsara; the word nirvāṇa, states Steven Collins, is from the verbal root vā "blow" in the form of past participle vāna "blown", prefixed with the preverb nis meaning "out".
Hence the original meaning of the word is "blown out, extinguished". Sandhi changes the sounds: the v of vāna causes nis to become nir, the r of nir causes retroflexion of the following n: nis+vāna > nirvāṇa. The term nirvana in the soteriological sense of "blown out, extinguished" state of liberation does not appear in the Vedas nor in the Upanishads. According to Collins, "the Buddhists seem to have been the first to call it nirvana." However, the ideas of spiritual liberation using different terminology, with the concept of soul and Brahman, appears in Vedic texts and Upanishads, such as in verse 4.4.6 of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. This may have been deliberate use of words in early Buddhism, suggests Collins, since Atman and Brahman were described in Vedic texts and Upanishads with the imagery of fire, as something good and liberating. Nirvāṇa is a term found in the texts of all major Indian religions – Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism, it refers to the profound peace of mind, acquired with moksha, liberation from samsara, or release from a state of suffering, after respective spiritual practice or sādhanā.
The idea of moksha is connected to the Vedic culture, where it conveyed a notion of amrtam, "immortality", a notion of a timeless, "unborn", or "the still point of the turning world of time". It was its timeless structure, the whole underlying "the spokes of the invariable but incessant wheel of time"; the hope for life after death started with notions of going to the worlds of the Fathers or Ancestors and/or the world of the Gods or Heaven. The earliest Vedic texts incorporate the concept of life, followed by an afterlife in heaven and hell based on cumulative virtues or vices. However, the ancient Vedic Rishis challenged this idea of afterlife as simplistic, because people do not live an moral or immoral life. Between virtuous lives, some are more virtuous; the Vedic thinkers introduced the idea of an afterlife in heaven or hell in proportion to one's merit, when this runs out, one returns and is reborn. The idea of rebirth following "running out of merit" appears in Buddhist texts as well.
This idea appears in many ancient and medieval texts, as Saṃsāra, or the endless cycle of life, death and redeath, such as section 6:31 of the Mahabharata and verse 9.21 of the Bhagavad Gita. The Saṃsara, the life after death, what impacts rebirth came to be seen as dependent on karma; the liberation from Saṃsāra developed as an ultimate goal and soteriological value in the Indian culture, called by different terms such as nirvana, moksha and kaivalya. This basic scheme underlies Hinduism and Buddhism, where "the ultimate aim is the timeless state of moksa, or, as the Buddhists first seem to have called it, nirvana."Although the term occurs in the literatures of a number of ancient Indian traditions, the concept is most associated with Buddhism. It was adopted by other Indian religions, but with different meanings and description, such as in the Hindu text Bhagavad Gita of the Mahabharata. Nirvana means "blowing out" or "quenching", it is the most used as well as the earliest term to describe the soteriological goal in Buddhism: release from the cycle of rebirth.
Nirvana is part of the Third Truth on "cessation of dukkha" in the Four Noble Truths doctrine of Buddhism. It is the goal of the Noble Eightfold Path; the Buddha is believed in the Buddhist scholastic tradition to have realized two types of nirvana, one at enlightenment, another at his death. The first is called the second parinirvana or anupadhishesa-nirvana. In the Buddhist tradition, nirvana is described as the extinguishing of the fires that cause rebirths and associated suffering; the Buddhist texts identify these three "three fires" or "three poisons" as raga and avidyā or moha. The state of nirvana is described in Buddhism as cessation of all afflictions, cessation of all actions, cessation of rebirths and suffering that are a consequence of afflictions and actions. Liberation is described as identical to anatta. In Buddhism, liberation is achieved when all beings are understood to be with no Self. Nirvana is described as identical to achieving sunyata, where there is no essence or fundament
Maya (mother of the Buddha)
Queen Māyā of Sakya was the birth mother of Gautama Buddha, the sage on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. She was sister of the first Buddhist nun ordained by the Buddha. In Buddhist tradition Maya died soon after the birth of Buddha said to be seven days afterwards, came to life again in a Hindu-Buddhist heaven, a pattern, said to be followed in the births of all Buddhas, thus Maya did not raise her son, instead raised by his maternal aunt Mahapajapati Gotami. Maya would, however, on occasion descend from Heaven to give advice to her son. Māyā means "illusion" in Sanskrit. Māyā is called Mahāmāyā and Māyādevī. In Tibetan she in Japanese is known as Maya-bunin. Sinhalese known as මහාමායා දේවී. In Buddhist literature and art Queen Maya is portrayed as a beautiful fecund woman in the prime of life. Although sometimes shown in other scenes from her life, such as having a dream foretelling her pregnancy with Gautama Buddha or with her husband King Śuddhodana seeking prophecies about their son's life, shortly after his birth, she is most depicted whilst giving birth to Gautama, an event, accepted to have taken place in Lumbini in modern-day Madhesh.
Maya is shown giving birth standing under a tree and reaching overhead to hold on to a branch for support. Buddhist scholar Miranda Shaw, states that Queen Maya's depiction in the nativity scene follows a pattern established in earlier Buddhist depictions of the tree spirits known as yaksini. Māyā married King Śuddhodana, the ruler of the Śākya clan of Kapilvastu, she therefore his cousin. Māyā and King Suddhodhana did not have children for twenty years into their marriage. According to legend, one full moon night, sleeping in the palace, the queen had a vivid dream, she felt herself being carried away by four devas to Lake Anotatta in the Himalayas. After bathing her in the lake, the devas clothed her in heavenly cloths, anointed her with perfumes, bedecked her with divine flowers. Soon after a white elephant, holding a white lotus flower in its trunk and went round her three times, entering her womb through her right side; the elephant disappeared and the queen awoke, knowing she had been delivered an important message, as the elephant is a symbol of greatness.
According to Buddhist tradition, the Buddha-to-be was residing as a bodhisattva in the Tuṣita heaven, decided to take the shape of a white elephant to be reborn on Earth for the last time. Māyā gave birth to Siddharta c. 563 BCE. The pregnancy lasted ten lunar months. Following custom, the Queen returned to her own home for the birth. On the way, she stepped down from her palanquin to have a walk under the Sal tree confused with the Ashoka tree, in the beautiful flower garden of Lumbini Park, Lumbini Zone, Nepal. Maya Devi gave birth standing while holding onto a sal branch. Legend has it, it was the eighth day of April. Some accounts say, but legend has it. He was named Siddhārtha, "He who has accomplished his goals" or "The accomplished goal". Scholars agree that most Buddhist literature holds that Maya died seven days after the birth of Buddha, was reborn in the Tusita Heaven. Seven years after the Buddha's enlightenment, she came down to visit Tavatimsa Heaven, where the Buddha preached the Abhidharma to her.
Her sister Prajāpatī became the child's foster mother. After Siddhartha had attained Enlightenment and become the Buddha, he visited his mother in heaven for three months to pay respects and to teach the Dharma. Referring to the prophetic dream Queen Maya had prior to conception, the life story of the Buddha according to the Pali Cannon say that his mother did not engage in sexual activity or entertain any thoughts of other men during her pregnancy, it does not say. However, some parallels have been drawn with the birth story of Jesus. Z. P. Thundy has surveyed the similarities and differences between the birth stories of Buddha by Maya and Jesus by Mary and notes that while there may have been similarities, there are differences, e.g. that Mary outlives Jesus after raising him, but Maya dies soon after the birth of Buddha, as all mothers of Buddhas do in the Buddhist tradition. Thundy does not assert that there is any historical evidence that the Christian birth stories of Jesus were derived from the Buddhist traditions, but suggests that "maybe it is time that Christian scholars looked in the Buddhist tradition for the sources of the idea".
Other scholars have, rejected any influence, e.g. Paula Fredriksen states that no serious scholarly work places Jesus outside the backdrop of 1st century Palestinian Judaism. Eddy and Boyd state that there is no evidence of a historical influence by outside sources on the authors of the New Testament, most scholars agree that any such historical influence on Christianity is implausible given that first century monotheistic Galilean Jews would not have been open to what they would have seen as pagan stories; the birth of Buddha Family of Gautama Buddha History of Buddhism Maya Devi Temple, Lumbini Koli Caste Media related to Queen Maya at Wikimedia Commons
In Buddhism, a Bodhisattva is any person, on the path towards Buddhahood but has not yet attained it. In the Early Buddhist schools as well as modern Theravada Buddhism, a bodhisattva refers to anyone who has made a resolution to become a Buddha and has received a confirmation or prediction from a living Buddha that this will be so. In Mahayana Buddhism, a bodhisattva refers to anyone who has generated bodhicitta, a spontaneous wish and compassionate mind to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. In early Buddhism, the term bodhisatta is used in the early texts to refer to Gautama Buddha in his previous lives and as a young man in his current life in the period during which he was working towards his own liberation. During his discourses, to recount his experiences as a young aspirant he uses the phrase "When I was an unenlightened bodhisatta..." The term therefore connotes a being, "bound for enlightenment", in other words, a person whose aim is to become enlightened. In the Pāli canon, the bodhisatta is described as someone, still subject to birth, death, sorrow and delusion.
Some of the previous lives of the Buddha as a bodhisattva are featured in the Jataka tales. According to the Theravāda monk Bhikkhu Bodhi, the bodhisattva path is not taught in the earliest strata of Buddhist texts such as the Pali Nikayas which instead focus on the ideal of the Arahant; the oldest known story about how Gautama Buddha becomes a bodhisattva is the story of his encounter with the previous Buddha, Dīpankara. During this encounter, a previous incarnation of Gautama, variously named Sumedha, Megha, or Sumati offers five blue lotuses and spreads out his hair or entire body for Dīpankara to walk on, resolving to one day become a Buddha. Dīpankara confirms that they will attain Buddhahood. Early Buddhist authors saw this story as indicating that the making of a resolution in the presence of a living Buddha and his prediction/confirmation of one's future Buddhahood was necessary to become a bodhisattva. According to Drewes, "all known models of the path to Buddhahood developed from this basic understanding."The path is explained differently by the various Nikaya schools.
In the Theravāda Buddhavaṃsa, after receiving the prediction, Gautama took four asaṃkheyyas and a hundred thousand, shorter kalpas to reach Buddhahood. The Sarvāstivāda school had similar models about, they held it took him three asaṃkhyeyas and ninety one kalpas to become a Buddha after his resolution in front of a past Buddha. During the first asaṃkhyeya he is said to have encountered and served 75,000 Buddhas, 76,000 in the second, after which he received his first prediction of future Buddhahood from Dīpankara, meaning that he could no longer fall back from the path to Buddhahood. Thus, the presence of a living Buddha is necessary for Sarvāstivāda; the Mahāvibhāṣā explains that its discussion of the bodhisattva path is meant to “stop those who are in fact not bodhisattvas from giving rise to the self-conceit that they are.”The Mahāvastu of the Mahāsāṃghika-Lokottaravādins presents four stages of the bodhisattva path without giving specific time frames: Natural, one first plants the roots of merit in front of a Buddha to attain Buddhahood.
Resolution, one makes their first resolution to attain Buddhahood in the presence of a Buddha. Continuing, one continues to practice. Irreversible, at this stage, one cannot fall back; the Sri Lankan commentator Dhammapala in his commentary on the Cariyāpiṭaka, a text which focuses on the bodhisatta path, notes that to become a bodhisatta one must make a valid resolution in front of a living Buddha, which confirms that one is “irreversible” from the attainment of Buddhahood. The Nidānakathā, as well as the Buddhavaṃsa and Cariyāpiṭaka commentaries makes this explicit by stating that one cannot use a substitute for the presence of a living Buddha, since only a Buddha has the knowledge for making a reliable prediction; this is the accepted view maintained in orthodox Theravada today. The idea is that any resolution to attain Buddhahood may be forgotten or abandoned during the aeons ahead; the Burmese monk Ledi Sayadaw explains that though it is easy to make vows for future Buddhahood by oneself, it is difficult to maintain the necessary conduct and views during periods when the Dharma has disappeared from the world.
One will fall back during such periods and this is why one is not a full bodhisatta until one receives recognition from a living Buddha. Because of this, it was and remains a common practice in Theravada to attempt to establish the necessary conditions to meet the future Buddha Maitreya and thus receive a prediction from him. Medieval Theravada literature and inscriptions report the aspirations of monks and ministers to meet Maitreya for this purpose. Modern figures such as Anagarika Dharmapala, U Nu both sought to receive a prediction from a Buddha in the future and believed meritorious actions done for the good of Buddhism would help in their endeavor to become bodhisattas in the future. Over time the term came to be applied to other figures besides Gautama Buddha in Theravada lands due to the influence of Mahayana; the Theravada Abhayagiri tradition of Sri Lanka practiced Mahayana Buddhism and was influential until the 12th century. Kings of Sri Lanka