Today is Nirvana Day, a Mahayana Buddhist observance that marks the memorial of the historical Buddha passing away and his entry into final Nirvana.
At the age of 80, the Buddha died in the company of his monks. He told them he had not held any teachings from them and that they must keep to the teachings in order to help people for ages to come. It is said that his last words were: “All conditioned things are subject to decay. Strive for your liberation with diligence,” (O’Brien 2018).
It is a solemn holiday, and many Buddhists meditate or read the Parinibanna Sutta. Reflection on death and permanence is common, and some monasteries and temples open their doors to lay people who offer household gifts and money to monks and nuns.
The Office of Spiritual and Religious Life wishes peace to all who are observing Nirvana Day.
O’Brien, Barbara. “Nirvana Day (Parinirvana): A Buddhist Holiday.” Learn Religions. August 19, 2018. https://www.learnreligions.com/nirvana-day-449911.
“Resilience: Multifaith Calendar 2022.” Multifaith Action Society. 2022.