Buddha’s Birthday

Shakyamuni BuddhaMay 6th was celebrated as always, the world over, as the birthday of Shakyamuni Buddha. The Sanskrit word Buddha means “One who is awakened [to the truth].” While the term was widely employed by various schools of the time, it eventually came to be used exclusively in reference to Shakyamuni. At the same time, the word Buddha implies “to bloom.”

A person who causes flowers of lofty character to brilliantly bloom and who bears the fruits of good fortune and benefit in abundance is a Buddha.

Such a person manifests the benefit of the Law and shines with character overflowing with blessings.

~ Daisaku Ikeda

Shakyamuni Buddha

Shakyamuni BuddhaThe Sanskrit word Buddha means “One who is awakened [to the truth].” While the term was widely employed by various schools of the time, it eventually came to be used exclusively in reference to Shakyamuni. At the same time, the word Buddha implies “to bloom.”

A person who causes flowers of lofty character to brilliantly bloom and who bears the fruits of good fortune and benefit in abundance is a Buddha.

Such a person manifests the benefit of the Law and shines with character overflowing with blessings.

~ Daisaku Ikeda

Stop Killing Whales!!!

Stop Killing Whales!!!Who amongst us, having watched footage of the Japanese whaling fleet hunting and slaughtering whales in the Southern Ocean, would not, in an instant, trade places with Sea Shepherd‘s captain, Paul Watson, or one of his crew?

In 1946, the International Whaling Convention (IWC) was established to oversee the management of the whaling industry worldwide. It was established in response to the rapid decline in the population of whales from whaling. In 1986, the IWC instituted an indefinite ban on commercial whaling. This ban is still in effect, with certain exceptions. To their shame, countries such as Japan and Norway are not honouring the ban.

Japanese Whalling Vessel Yushin Maru

The Japanese whaling fleet’s aim was to kill up to 950 whales this year ‘for scientific purposes’ and they now appear to have gained legal backing from a US court who have branded Watson and his volunteer crew as pirates.

The Sea Shepherd appears to have been able to limit the number of whales taken this year to less than 100, the lowest figure in a decade, and are claiming a victory, but for how long? Whilst the tactics employed by both sides often appear dangerous and potentially life-threatening, the Japanese legal backing by the US could spell further problems for the conservationists.

The good news is that the Australian government is a pending case before the International Court of Justice in The Hague, which considers  the Japanese whaling to be illegal. In its written submission to the court, the government argues that “the whaling carried out by Japan is commercial, not scientific, and does not fall within the exception”.

Now this is not the first time I have written about this topic. Last time it raised all manner of controversy around the killing of sentient creatures and Buddhist beliefs. I’m sure it will do the same this time around, but if it gets the message out there, I for one, am happy about it. The killing of all whales, for whatever purpose, must stop.

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