Saturday, February 2, 2013

Carpe Diem #112, Buddha (provided by Patricia)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Another day in haiku paradise Carpe Diem. Today we share haiku on 'Buddha' (provided by Patricia of High Five and Raspberries). A lovely prompt I think and to me even an everlasting love, I am somewhat of a Zen-Buddhist as a haiku poet.
I love to share some background on Buddha.

Gautama Buddha or Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम बुद्ध; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent,on whose teachings Buddhism was founded.
The word Buddha is a title for the first awakened being in an era. In most Buddhist traditions, Siddhartha Gautama is regarded as the Supreme Buddha (P. sammāsambuddha, S. samyaksaṃbuddha) of our age, "Buddha" meaning "awakened one" or "the enlightened one."  Gautama Buddha may also be referred to as Śākyamuni (Sanskrit: शाक्यमुनि "Sage of the Śākyas"). Gautama taught a Middle Way compared to the severe asceticism found in the Sramana (renunciation) movement common in his region. He later taught throughout regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kośala.
The time of Gautama's birth and death is uncertain: most historians in the early 20th century dated his lifetime as circa 563 BCE to 483 BCE] but more recent opinion dates his death to between 486 and 483 BCE or, according to some, between 411 and 400 BCE. However, at a specialist symposium on this question held in 1988 in Göttingen, the majority of those scholars who presented definite opinions gave dates within 20 years either side of 400 BCE for the Buddha's death, with others supporting earlier or later dates. These alternative chronologies, however, have not yet been accepted by all other historians.
Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism, and accounts of his life, discourses, and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarized after his death and memorized by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition, and first committed to writing about 400 years later.

Credits: Buddha

The primary sources for the life of Siddhārtha Gautama are a variety of different, and sometimes conflicting, traditional biographies. These include the Buddhacarita, Lalitavistara Sūtra, Mahāvastu, and the Nidānakathā. Of these, the Buddhacarita is the earliest full biography, an epic poem written by the poet Aśvaghoṣa, and dating around the beginning of the 2nd century CE. The Lalitavistara Sūtra is the next oldest biography, a Mahāyāna/Sarvāstivāda biography dating to the 3rd century CE. The Mahāvastu from the Mahāsāṃghika Lokottaravāda tradition is another major biography, composed incrementally until perhaps the 4th century CE. The Dharmaguptaka biography of the Buddha is the most exhaustive, and is entitled the Abhiniṣkramaṇa Sūtra, and various Chinese translations of this date between the 3rd and 6th century CE. Lastly, the Nidānakathā is from the Theravāda tradition in Sri Lanka, composed in the 5th century CE by Buddhaghoṣa.

From canonical sources, the Jātaka tales, Mahapadana Sutta (DN 14), and the Achariyabhuta Sutta (MN 123) include selective accounts that may be older, but are not full biographies. The Jātaka tales retell previous lives of Gautama as a bodhisattva, and the first collection of these can be dated among the earliest Buddhist texts. The Mahāpadāna Sutta and Acchariyaabbhuta Sutta both recount miraculous events surrounding Gautama's birth, such as the bodhisattva's descent from Tuṣita Heaven into his mother's womb.

Isn't it an awesome story? As haiku poets we all have somewhat of Buddhism in us because Zen Buddhism is part of the classical haiku tradition. Nature is one of the main ideas on which haiku is inspired. Basho was a Buddhist and Issa also was a Buddhist ... and Chiyo-Ni, our haiku master for this month, was a Buddhist Nun. So haiku and Buddhism are part of each other.

Buson, not a Buddhist (as far as I know), wrote the next haiku:

akino kure hotoke ni bakeru tanuki kana
autumn nightfall -
a badger has turned himself
into a Buddha 

Or what do you think of this one, also by Buson:

daibutsu no kanata miya sama semi no koe
This great Buddha:
Beyond it live Princes,
Amid the cicadas' song

Or this wonderful haiku written by Issa:

kogakure ya ônembutsu de ta wo ueru

hidden in trees
praising Amida Buddha...

rice planter 

Another one by Issa:

shirôto no nembutsu ni sae sakura chiru

even a layman
praises Amida Buddha...

cherry blossoms fall

A last example ... a haiku by Chiyo-Ni, our haiku master for this month. Not entirely on Buddha, but with a touch of Buddha in it:

kaku  tera  no  kane  no  oto  ga  kaze  ni  chigai  masu

each sound of
the temple bell is different
in the wind 

OK ... enough of other haiku poets ... let's go and compose my own haiku on Buddha. First a haiku written by me, earlier:

snow falls softly
the statue of Buddha covered

in white silk 

Or this one which I wrote almost a year ago:

covered with fresh snow

still smiles 

OK ... a last one which I wrote earlier:

the cool breeze
stroking the lovely face
of Buddha's child

So ... back to today ... have to come with a new haiku ... here it goes:

I feel like Buddha
as a nurse

as a nurse
full unconditional love
just like Buddha

just like Buddha
my youngest grandson smiles

I love it ... just a wonderful series of haiku based on the base of haiku ... Buddhism.

Have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us here on Carpe Diem. This prompt will stay on 'till February 4th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our first Carpe Diem Special of this months haiku master Chiyo-Ni later on today around 10.00 PM (CET). I haven't yet decided which haiku by Chiyo-Ni I would love to share ... so be patient ... and let the surprise catch you.


  1. Difficult prompt for me, but you handle it so well.

  2. Of the masters, I found Chiyo-ni's haiku refreshingly beautiful! Enjoyed your variety of haiku! My favourite is the one of the buddha smiling though covered with snow!

  3. I'm not sure I fully grasp all you have written on Buddha, but I do feel him in your poetry, your lifestyle, your beliefs....

  4. Wonderful post ~ filled with excellent insights as are your creative haiku ~ thanks for your creativity and knowledge ~

    Carol of: A Creative Harbor

  5. i have to agree with your haiku. absolutely. i'm a nurse as well and i know that it's a job that requires plenty of patience and the gift of empathy :)wonderful

  6. A gentle spirit full of unconditional love describes what I know of buddhism so well, also true chistianity if practiced in the spirit that it was taught. You have given us some thoughts to ponder and cherish.

  7. Thinking of the Buddha smiling through snowfall somehow warms my heart.

  8. I am so glad that you chose to use this prompt. I especially like your last one ..
    children all have the gentle smile of Buddha. I am very pleased with all the haiku that was written with this prompt.

  9. Lovely prompt this here's mine

  10. Late to the party today but I enjoyed this post very much and am looking forward to reading more of Chiyo-Ni's haiku this month!

  11. The buddha smiling covered with snow was just amazing - really there are some stunning haiku posted on Carpe Diem's page from Holland!

  12. Sorry to be missing for a few days. Sadly, my Mum passed away and whilst I've been quietly enjoying everyone's Haiku, I've been unable to muster a contribution...until now.
    Here's to love and laughter :)

  13. I stayed here awhile enjoying all these haikus. Thanks for this prompt.

  14. All of your Buddha haiku were inspiring... I stopped and savored each of them... TY! :-)