(416) 766-3400
    33 High Park Gardens, Toronto, ON

The Buddha's Parinirvana

The Buddha's Parinirvana

Parinirvana Altar
12 Feb 2023 Registration
  • Toronto Zen CentreLocation
  • 9:00 AM - 10:30 AMTime

For 45 years the Buddha, after attaining Perfect Enlightenment, preached the Dharma to all who would listen, devoting himself to the welfare of all living beings. But in his eightieth year, during the seclusion of the rainy season, he suddenly fell ill. Feeling that his time, though near, had not yet arrived, he entered a deep samadhi to free himself of the disease. Emerging from his meditation, he said:

This body has become worn-out and is like an old cart which can only be kept rolling along with great difficulty. My time to be set free from the bonds of becoming, as a chick which on hatching finally breaks free of its shell, will be in three months.

He reminded Ananda that although his bodily journey was nearing fulfillment, each person was to continue to work at his own Enlightenment. He said that since he only taught the Dharma out of his own Realization, the Sangha was not dependent on him for leadership. “Therefore,” he told Ananda, “be ye lamps unto yourselves.”

On Sunday, February 12, the Toronto Zen Centre will commemorate the Parinirvana—the Buddha’s final departure from the realm of birth-and-death—in a ceremony with chanting, a special reading of the Buddha’s Parinirvana, the offering of incense and circumambulations.