Rev. David Fujimoto
(Reprinted from April 7, 2017)
Oftentimes, we are told the story of Hanamatsuri — the birth of Siddhärtha Gautama, who later became the historical Säkyamuni Buddha. It is a tale of the protagonist Siddhärtha Gautama, who was born over 2,600 years ago to Queen Maya and King Suddhodana of the Säkya Clan and is filled with wondrous tales and symbolism. What are we supposed to get from all of this?
We do know that it was tradition at that time for females to return to their hometown to give birth. However, Queen Maya stopped at the Lumbini Garden to rest. While there, she went into labor. It is said that the birth was painless and was met with many events. The earth is said to have trembled in joy and that many celestial birds appeared and sang. Additionally, beautiful flowers bloomed, and a sweet, gentle rain bathed the newborn baby.