Aug 27, 2010

solemn saturday | nuzul al-quran

Yesterday was a public holiday in my state, which I found out a few days earlier.

There are so many public holidays in this country, that it is rather difficult to keep a tab of significance on them.

Public holiday is not just a rest day, it is a day of significance where something is to be rejoice for, for one community or another. Yet for some people (most people) especially people who worked madly throughout the week, it is a truly well-deserved rest day.

Yesterday was Nuzul Al-Quran.

In the history of Islam, Nuzul AlQuran marked the revelation of the first verse of the Holy Quran to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on the 17th day of the month of Ramadhan ( or 6th August 610) in the Cave of Hira in the Mountain of Light. Immediately on that day, the Quran was shared with His friends and family. The Quran was revealed in stages in a period of about 23 years.

The word Nuzul meant transcend from top to below.

AlQuran needs no further explanation is the holy Book of Islam.

No, don't get me wrong. I'm not embracing Islam. I'm just want to have a slightly deeper understanding on the Main Religion of my country and the religion of my fellow friends and colleagues.

In Buddhism, there's no grand main Holy book.

But there are many, many, many Holy books, which can fill the whole section of a library. And that is the truth, not to be misunderstood as bragging.

Going back to history, after Enlightenment, all the Lord Buddha teachings went by sayings and words of mouth without any literature note down.

His first discourse was at the deer park of Sarnath, India to five monks on Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (can u read it in one breath?).

His first few line of address was:

"There are these two extremes that are not to be indulged in by one who has gone forth. Which two? That which is devoted to sensual pleasure with reference to sensual objects: base, vulgar, common, ignoble, unprofitable; and that which is devoted to self-affliction: painful, ignoble, unprofitable. Avoiding both of these extremes, the middle way realized by the Tathagata — producing vision, producing knowledge — leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding." (in short, do not go into the extremes)

And He further explained the 4 noble truths and 8 fold path.

And further teachings of Gautama was massively recollected after He attained Nibbana (physically passing away, spiritually free from circle of rebirth - is just a simple way to put it).
The recollection of His teachings of 300 plus occasions over fourty-five years were put into words into Dhammapada.

Dhammpada text on a pal leaf
This Dhammapada palm leaf manuscript (44.5 * 6.5 cm) in Sinhalese characters, of which the first and last pages are shown, is believed to be the oldest extant copy of the scripture. Photo: Courtesy of K. D. Paranavitana, Assistant Archivist, Department of National Archives, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Therefore, when a Buddhist being stumped by the question "So, what is your holy Book?"
The answer is
Not Dhammapada
Not Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"We don't have a holy Book, we have a holy Library of them."

P.S. Happy berpuasa to all my Muslim friends and families!

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