February 20, 2008
Makha Bucha Day is a major holiday in Thailand and it falls tomorrow, February 21.
According to Buddhist scriptures, nine months after Siddharttha Gautama attained enlightenment, on the full-moon day of the third lunar month, a total of 1,250 disciples of the Buddha from various places spontaneously assembled at Veluvan in Magadha to pay respect to the Buddha. This meeting is considered very significant in Buddhist history because first, it was done without previous appointment and was therefore a miracle, and secondly, all the disciples had been ordained by the Buddha himself and had attained sainthood and become arahants.
Wat Dhammakaya's website will let you experience Makha Bucha from the comfort of your own home. It helps to speak Thai, though.
Not to confuse anyone, but here's the website of the Dhammakaya Foundation, a worldwide organization based in Thailand. Check out the pictures of this place, especially the crowd in the meditation space. Now that's a whole lotta Buddhists.
Meanwhile, in Ithaca, New York, the North American seat of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is being expanded. He must also have somewhere to hang his hats in Atlanta, as he is an honorary professor there.