Croydon Buddhist Centre


Dharma Study Groups


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Return to Main Events paranirvana3

Parinirvana is the Buddhist festival where we remember and reflect on the death of the Buddha, and his entering ‘parinirvana’: ‘final’ or ‘complete’ nirvana, a total freedom from samsara. It is a time when we contemplate the mystery of death, and remember loved ones who have died in the last year or so. In Triratna this year, this has an added significance because of the death of our founding teacher, Sangharakshita, last October.


There are two parts to the day, and you are welcome to either one or both of them. So please arrive either before the morning part which starts at 10.30am, or arrive after 1pm for lunch, or before the afternoon puja which starts at 2.30pm. Please also bring veggie/vegan food for the shared lunch. Also please feel welcome to bring photos of family or friends who have died in the last year or so, and to put these on the shrine for the day.


During the morning, we will be reading from the Bardo Thodol, popularly known as The Tibetan Book of the Dead. This is a text from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition that describes the journey of a deceased person through the ‘bardo’ and their being confronted, again and again, by a choice: either recognising the true nature of mind or falling back into rebirth in samsara. Following a short introduction by Vajragupta, we will simply read sections of the text in a meditative context, absorbing its mystery and sense of potential freedom.


After lunch, the afternoon of the festival will be a puja (ritual) with readings from the Mahaparinirvana Sutta, which describes the last weeks of the Buddha’s human life. There are some beautiful and poignant moments in this text and the puja will be a chance to reflect on them.


Programme for the day – please arrive either before 10.30am or between 1pm and 2.30pm.

10am: arrive from 10am

10.30am: short introduction to The Tibetan Book of the Dead from Vajragupta

10.45am: reading from the Tibetan Book of the Dead (includes breaks etc.)

1pm: finish reading

1.15pm: lunch

2.30pm: Parinirvana Puja

4pm: day finishesDouble click to insert body text here ...