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Triratna communities around the world have been marking Parinirvana Day, which occurs on 15th February each year, commemorating the physical death and final Nirvana of the Buddha Shakyamuni.
Parinirvana Day is a time to recall the Buddha’s final days and his passing into final Nirvana, as he leaves his physical body. Many centres reflect on this by hearing verses from the Maha-parinibbana Sutta, a beautiful evocation of the Buddha’s generous teachings and acts, even in his final few days. Included in the sutta are the well-known and moving words of Ananda, the Buddha’s loyal attendant:
The Master is about to pass away from me: he who is so kind
Parinirvana Day is also a time to reflect on impermanence and death more broadly, remembering loved ones who have died and recalling our own inevitable mortality. In these days of uncertainty during the global Covid-19 Pandemic, these teachings feel as relevant and poignant as ever.
Here’s a talk from Bhadra at the Bristol Buddhist Centre “The Final Letting Go: Celebration of the Parinirvana” and a series of seminars by Jnanavaca at the London Buddhist Centre entitled “Death and the Dharma”. Also, a talk given in 2020 by Vajratara entitled “Reflections on Impermanence and Death”
We’d love to hear how you or your Sangha have marked Parinirvana day this year. Let us know in the comments below!
Listen to Vishvapani’s Thought for the day for Parinirvana day
Further Resources on this theme: