Nirvana Day is our annual remembrance of the day that Sakyamuni Buddha drew his final breath in this world and attained parinirvana, passing into the lasting peace of tranquility.
This Sunday, we will reflect upon how Sakyamuni Buddha’s lifelong dedication to guiding all beings to liberation from suffering was fulfillled when he imparted teaching of Amida Buddha’s 18th Vow:
If, when I attain Buddhahood, the sentient beings of the ten quarters who, with sincere and entrusting heart, aspire to be born in my land and say my name even ten times, should not be born there, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment. Excluded are those who commit the five grave offenses* and those who slander the right Dharma.
*five grave offenses: 1) intentionally killing one’s father; 2) intentionally killing one’s mother; 3) intentionally killing an arhat (enlightened disciple of the Buddha); 4) disrupting the harmony of the sangha through one’s inverted views; and 5) maliciously causing blood to flow from the body of the Buddha.
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