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Water and Buddhism?

To: talk.religion.buddhism
From: "Saki Zenzaki" 
Subject: Re: Water and Buddhism?
Date: 7 May 1997 15:14:57 GMT

Bill  wrote in article
...
> In article <3370217E.3841@bconnex.net>, sandyc  wrote:
> 
What is the Buddhist relation to water?  I ask this
> > in the same sense that Christians baptize; and, similarly, that ancient > >
Romans had to cross a body of water before they could enter the  underworld.  
Are there potent symbols of water in Buddhism?  

Here is a Buddhist ritual using water:

"I will now introduce you to the Japanese custom for celebrating the Buddha's
birthday.  On the eighth of April, we Japanese Buddhists decorate the altar for
the statue of the baby Buddha with many flowers and pour sweet tea over its
head.   The altar is called hanami-do or "flower pavillion" and the ceremony is
called kambutsue, meaning "to give a bath to the baby Buddha."   We think of
the flower garden of Lumbini where Buddha was born, and the sudden shower of
sweet fragrant rain which gave the baby a natural bath.   So each Buddhist
temple, no matter to which sect it belongs, has an alter for the baby Buddha,
covered with flowers and the statue is placed in a bowl inside the flower
pavillion.   

"The sweet tea, called amacha, is poured into this bowl.  There is a ladle in
the bowl, so that visitors may pour the sweet tea over the head of the baby
Buddha.   

"Some of you may be wondering what the sweet tea is.   In botany, the sweet tea
belongs to the genus hydrangea.   Its leaves are picked and dried well before
soaking them in the hot water.    It was used as a cold beverage all over 
Japan in olden times.   Before Japanese people ever saw sugar, which came from
Europe, they used this sweet tea."

					Like a Dream Like a Fantasy
					Nyogen Sensaki


I hope this helps you determine your answer.

Saki Zenzaki 



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