On This Day

Buddhist History

Historical Events

  • 1253-04-28 Nichiren, a Japanese Buddhist monk, propounds Nam Myoho Renge Kyo for the first time and declares it to be the essence of Buddhism, in effect founding Nichiren Buddhism.
  • 1279-10-12 Nichiren, a Japanese Buddhist monk, founder of Nichiren Buddhism, inscribes the Dai-Gohonzon
  • 1282-10-13 Nichiren Daishonin, founder of the Nichiren School of Buddhism, dies, his ashes are interred at Taisekiji Temple
  • 1324-01-21 Zen Buddhist religious debate between Tendai & Shingon
  • 1536-08-13 Buddhist monks from Kyōto's Enryaku Temple set fire to 21 Nichiren temples throughout Kyoto in the Tenbun Hokke Disturbance. (Traditional Japanese date: July 27, 1536).
  • 1639-09-25 Suzuki Shosan, Samurai monk of Zen Buddhism, found awakening
  • 1886-11-01 Ananda College, a leading Buddhist school in Sri Lanka was established with 37 students.
  • 1889-05-10 17th Preakness: W Anderson aboard Buddhist wins in 2:17.5
  • 1904-07-15 1st Buddhist temple in US forms, Los Angeles
  • 1930-11-18 Sōka Kyōiku Gakkai, a Buddhist association later renamed Soka Gakkai, is founded by Japanese educators Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda.
  • 1948-04-07 A Buddhist monastery burns in Shanghai, China, leaving twenty monks dead
  • 1955-10-27 Satomi Myodo, renews Zen nun vows & takes Buddhist name of Daien Myodo
  • 1956-05-24 Conclusion of the Sixth Buddhist Council on Vesak Day, marking the 2,500 year anniversary after the Lord Buddha's Parinibbāna

Historic Event

1956-10-14 Indian social reformer B.R. Ambedkar and 500,000 supporters convert to Buddhism in Nagpur

Vietnamese Monk Burns Himself Alive

1963-06-11 Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức immolates himself at a Saigon intersection, creating one of the Vietnam War's most iconic images

  • 1963-08-21 Martial law declared in South Vietnam, following raids on Buddhist pagodas
  • 1966-05-15 South Vietnamese army battle Buddhists, about 80 die
  • 1966-05-26 Buddhist sets himself on fire at US consulate in Hué, South Vietnam
  • 1979-06-12 Opening ceremony at Cambridge Buddhist Association meditation in Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1979-11-11 Boston Court issues occupancy permit for Cambridge Buddhist Center

Historic Event

1987-09-16 Pope John Paul II's ends his Los Angeles tour with an interfaith meeting at Dodger Stadium with leaders of Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism

  • 1994-07-17 French youngster (4) becomes Buddhist Lama Tulkou Kalou Rinpoche
  • 2007-09-18 Buddhist monks join anti-government protesters in Myanmar, starting what some called the Saffron Revolution.

Famous Birthdays

  • 0563-04-08 Gautama Buddha's birthday, the founder of Buddhism, is commonly celebrated on this day (or May)
  • 0574-02-07 Prince Shōtoku, Japanese regent and politician who promoted Buddhism (Hōryū-ji temple) (d. 622)
  • 1200-01-19 Dōgen, Japanese Buddhist priest and founder of the Sōtō school of Zen, born in Kyoto, Japan (d. 1253)
  • 1222-02-16 Nichiren, Japanese Buddhist priest and saint, born in Kominato, Japan (d. 1282)
  • 1686-01-19 Hakuin Ekakuborn, Japan, Zen Buddhist
  • 1870-10-18 D T Suzuki, Kanazawa Japan, Zen Buddhist scholar
  • 1879-07-12 Han Yong-woon, Korean Buddhist reformer and poet, born in Yucheon, Hongseong, South Korea (d. 1944)

B.R. Ambedkar

1891-04-14 B.R. Ambedkar [Baba Saheb], Indian politician, jurist (architect of the Constitution of India) and social reformer who inspired the Dalit Buddhist Movement, born in Mhow, India (d. 1956)

  • 1898-11-11 Hugo Enomiya-Lassalle, German Jesuit priest and Buddhism Zen teacher, born in Nieheim, Westphalia, Kingdom of Prussia (d. 1990)
  • 1901-02-15 Christmas Humphreys, England, lawyer/writer/Buddhist (Awakening of Zen)
  • 1918-06-17 Ajahn Chah, Thai Buddhist meditation master, born in Ubon, Thailand (d. 1992)
  • 1922-05-15 Jakucho Setouchi, Japanese writer and Buddhist nun
  • 1925-08-26 Sangharakshita, Buddhist Philosopher, Founder of the Western Buddhist Order
  • 1931-02-24 Maezumi Hakuyu Taizan Koun, teacher Rinzai/Soto lines of Zen Buddhism

Tenzin Gyatso

1935-07-06 14th Dalai Lama, Tibetan spiritual leader of Tibet's Lamaistic Buddhists, born in Taktser, Qinghai, China

  • 1939-01-18 Bernard Glassman, American Zen Buddhist roshi (Zen Center of NY), born in Brighton Beach, New York
  • 1976-08-06 Parmeso Emekrasha, Buddhist Monk
  • 1980-11-25 Kushan Liyanarachchi, Sri Lankan, prominent Live Buddhism Practitioner

Famous Weddings

  • 2003-01-11 "The Sixth Sense" actress-singer Toni Collette (30) weds musician Dave Galafassi in a Buddhist ceremony near Sydney, Australia

Famous Deaths

  • 0622-04-08 Prince Shōtoku, Japanese regent and politician who promoted Buddhism (Hōryū-ji temple), dies at about 48
  • 1017-07-06 Genshin [Eshin Sōzu], Japanese scholar-monk of the Buddhist Tendai sect (Ōjōyōshū -"Essentials of Birth in the Pure Land"), dies at around 75
  • 1253-09-22 Dōgen, Japanese Buddhist priest and founder of the Sōtō school of Zen, dies at 53
  • 1262-11-28 Shinran, founder of Japan's True Pure Land Buddhist sect, dies
  • 1282-10-13 Nichiren Japanese founder of Nichiren Buddhism (b. 1222)
  • 1655-07-28 Suzuki Shosan, Samurai/monk/propagator of Zen Buddhism, dies at 76
  • 1944-06-19 Han Yong-woon, Korean Buddhist reformer and poet, at 65

B.R. Ambedkar

1956-12-06 B.R. Ambedkar [Baba Saheb], Indian politician, jurist (architect of the Constitution of India) and social reformer who inspired the Dalit Buddhist Movement, dies after suffering from diabetes at 65

  • 1958-04-02 Josei Toda, Japanese second president of the Buddhist association Soka Gakkai (b. 1900)
  • 1959-09-26 S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, 4th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (1956-59), assassinated by a Buddhist monk at 60
  • 1963-06-11 Thích Quảng Đức, Buddhist monk, immolates himself on a street in Saigon at the age of 65-66
  • 1966-07-12 D T Suzuki, Zen Buddhism scholar, dies in Tokyo Japan at 96
  • 1990-02-26 Maurine Stuart, Zen teacher (head of Cambridge Buddhist Association), dies
  • 1990-07-07 Hugo Enomiya-Lassalle, German Jesuit priest and Buddhism Zen teacher, dies at 92
  • 1992-01-16 Ajahn Chah, Thai Buddhist meditation master, dies at 73
  • 1994-06-03 Parmeso Emekrasha, buddhist Monk, dies
  • 1995-05-14 Maezumi Hakuyu Taizan Koun, teacher (Zen Buddhism), dies at 64
  • 1995-06-07 Hsuan Hua, influential Buddhist master in the United States (b. 1918)
  • 2008-02-09 Trichen Jurme Kunzang Wangyal, the eleventh Mindrolling Trichen, Tibetan Buddhist lama of the Nyingma school (b. 1930)
  • 2009-02-03 Sheng-yen, Buddhist monk and founder of Dharma Drum Mountain. (b. 1930)