Thursday, November 16, 2006

Buddha and the 49 days

BELOW: The coming of the Holy Spirit in a 15th century illuminated manuscript. This image may relate to the fact that some Churches were designed for a shaft of light to illuminate a certain place, once a year. In this image, they look up to a light.
49 days - the Christian story: Pentecost or The day of the Pentergram (symbolically related to the Jewish festival of Shavuot) is a feast on the Christian liturgical calendar that commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles.

The magic number of 49 It appears a range of religious beliefs were grafted onto older, calendar-based festivals. Some religious calendars also adjusted dates to fit expectations. But a pattern exists. For example, we find number 49 linked to Christian, Buddhist and Jewish stories.

Buddhist use of 49: For example, the Dalai Lama said in 1998; "According to popular legend, after his complete enlightenment, the Buddha gave no public teaching for 49 days. We know that historically the Buddha was born as an ordinary person like ourselves. He was brought up as a prince, married and had a son. Then, after observing the suffering of human beings, aging, sickness, and death, he totally renounced the worldly way of life. He underwent severe physical penances and with great effort undertook long meditation, eventually becoming completely enlightened. He gave his first discourse to the five who had formerly been his colleagues when he lived as a mendicant. Because he had broken his physical penances they had abandoned him and even after he had become totally enlightened they had no thoughts of reconciliation towards him. However, meeting the Buddha on his way, they naturally and involuntarily paid him respect, as a result of which he gave them his first teaching".
A teaching given in London, 1988. Translated by Geshe Thupten Jinpa and edited by Jeremy Russell. It was originally published in Chö-Yang (No.5) which was a magazine published by the Department of Religion and Culture of the Central Tibetan Administration, Dharamsala.

The Jewish 49 days festival: The great feast of the "Jewish Pentecost" is kept in remembrance of the giving of the Law to Moses at Mount Sinai, 50 days after the liberation of the slavery from Egypt (the Passover). On that day God gave Moses the Ten Commandments engraved with fire on stones, among the roaring sounds of nature, making the Covenant with the People of God (Ex.19,20, Lev.23).

The Christian 49 days festival: The great feast of the "Christian Pentecost", after Acts 2, is celebrated on a Sunday, 50 days after the Resurrection of Christ, when God engraved his Commandments not on stone, "but in the heart of each Christian" by the power of the Holy Spirit, among roaring winds and tongues of fire, as prophesied by Joel and Jeremiah, starting officially the Church of Christ (Act.2, Joel 2:28-32, Jer.31:33-34, Heb.8:8-12). The Biblical incident of the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost was recorded as June 6 A.D. 33 (Acts 2:1-4). "The Messiah's disciples and a group of true believers received illumination in their consciousness fifty days after the Messiah’s resurrection".

The Feast of the Weeks: Pentecost was on a Sunday, as Easter, establishing definitely Sunday as the Lord's Day in the Christian Calendar. The Jewish Pentecost was also called the Feast of the Weeks, because it was 7 weeks after Passover, as the Christian Pentecost is 7 weeks after Easter, the Christian Passover.

Feast of Harvest Before the episode of Mount Sinai, the Jews already had a Pentecost Feast, the Feast of the First-Fruits, or the Feast of Harvest, celebrating the harvest, 50 days after the sowing.

More light as tongues of Fire: The tongues of Fire which descended on the disciples represents a theophany (a visible manifestation of God). They heard the apostles speaking in the native tongue of the listener, ) and the followers (men and women) of Jesus, fifty days (seven weeks) after Easter, and ten days after Ascension Thursday.

Calendar of Holy Wisdom of God: According to Church tradition Pentecost is always seven weeks after Easter Sunday. It is in mid- to late spring in the Northern Hemisphere and mid- to late autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.In the Christian tradition, the Holy Wisdom of God (Hagia Sophia in Greek) is a divine attribute in which new Christians share to some degree through the sacrament of Confirmation, when they receive the Holy Spirit and share in Pentecost. Many churches are dedicated to it, the most famous being Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (Constantinople). It is sometimes associated with a sainted martyr of the same name, Saint Sophia, whose daughters are Faith, Hope and Charity. Many icons depict the four together At Vespers of Pentecost in the Oriental Churches, the extraordinary service of genuflexion, accompanied by long poetical prayers and psalms, takes place. On Pentecost the Russians carry flowers and green branches in their hands. It ought also to be noted that the week prior to this holiday is known as "green week", during which all manner of plants and herbs are gathered. The Eastern Orthodox church considers this whole week to be an ecclesiastic feast. More

The feast of 7 weeks: Pentecost means 50 and within that number is seven weeks (or 7 x 7 = 49 + 1). I More In Hebrew the word for week is ‘Shabuwa.’. The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost was the fourth of seven feast days that Yahweh gave to Israel after He delivered them from Pharaoh’s bondage in Egypt (Lev. 23rd). The Feast of Weeks celebrated the wheat harvest 50 days after the sickle had cut the barley harvest. It was also called the Feast of First Fruits. Many cultures had a feast of first fruits (Rom. 2:14), which was called a ‘sacrament of first fruits’ according to Sir James G. Frazer, F.R.S., F.B.A., in his book the Golden Bough.

The story of the event which set the dates:
• "You shall count for yourselves -- from the day after the shabbat, from the day when you bring the Omer of the waving -- seven shabbats, they shall be complete. Until the day after the seventh sabbath you shall count, fifty days...
• You shall convoke on this very day -- there shall be a holy convocation for yourselves -- you shall do no laborious work; it is an eternal decree in your dwelling places for your generations. -Leviticus 21:15-16, 21
Shavu'ot is not tied to a particular calendar date, but to a counting from Passover. Because the length of the months used to be variable, determined by observation (see Jewish Calendar), and there are two new moons between Passover and Shavu'ot, Shavu'ot could occur on the 5th or 6th of Sivan.The third month of the Jewish year, occurring in May/June.

49 days: The Hebrew story: The Torah instruction set the the First Day of the Omer as the start of the 49 day countdown (7 weeks of 7 days) to the celebration of Shavuot, known in the Old Testament as the Feast of Weeks or in Christian Tradition as Pentecost (50 days, counting from the first night of Passover). These festivals are based on a lunar rather than a solar calendar, which is why the dates from year to year vary widely; they fall in March or April (See The Hebrew Calendar of the Old Testament). Nisan is a name borrowed by the Israelites during the Exile from the Babylonian calendar. The Hebrew equivalent of Nisan is Abib (Ex 23:15). In the Babylonian system, Nisan is the first month, beginning the year in the Spring (March-April). In the older agricultural calendar of Israel, the year began in the Fall immediately following the harvests (Ex 23:16, the Babylonian month of Tishri, September-October). Since a lunar calendar begins each month with the new moon, the important Israelite religious festivals of Passover-Unleavened Bread and Succoth or Tabernacles begin in mid-month, the time of the full moon.More The period between the two festivals is know as the Days of the Omer, and serves to tie the two festivals together into a season of sacred time. The Torah refers to Shavuot as an agricultural festival. It marked the transition between the barley harvest, which was brought to the priest in the Temple in Jerusalem on the sixteenth of Nisan and the start of the wheat-ripening season, which began the first week of Sivan.

Sabbath math - how to count in sevens: The Torah commands that Shavuot be celebrated exactly seven weeks after the second day of Pesach, the day of the first Omer, the early barley harvest offering. This explains the name Shavuot – Hebrew for weeks, or as it’s known in Greek, Pentecost, meaning fiftieth day. According to a very old tradition, the period between Pesach and Shavuot is also a season of mourning. Marriages are not performed, hair is not cut and live music is not played or heard. The reasons for this are not entirely clear.

The magic number 7The Torah defines Sabbath as a period of time that involves the number seven. It can be every seventh day, every seventh year or a Sabbath of the seventh month or an annual Sabbath of which there are seven:
(1) The First Day of Unleavened Bread
(2) The Last Day of Unleavened Bread
(3) Pentecost
(4) Yom Teruah (First Day of Rosh Hashanah)
(5) Yom Kippur (Tenth Day of Rosh Hashanah)
(6) Succoth or Sukkat (First Day of Succoth)
(7) Succoth (The Last Great Day or Eighth Day of Succoth).

All must journey to temple on day of first fruits: The Torah refers to Shavuot as Hag ha-katzir, (Exodus 23:14-19) the feast of the harvest, as Hag Hashavuot, the festival of weeks, and as Yom ha-bikurim, (Leviticus 23:9-22) the day of first fruits, when farmers brought their produce to the Temple as an offering. Shavuot is the second of the shalosh regalim, the three annual pilgrimage holidays of Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot, when Jews from all over Israel and beyond converged onto Jerusalem to celebrate and bring temple offerings. One tradition suggests that since this period was preparatory to receiving the Torah, these days were set aside for serious reflection and study. Therefore, frivolous activities were put on hold, More

God gives "law" to Israel on 50th day: The Feast of Weeks also commemorated Yahweh giving the Law to Israel 50 days after they resurrected from Egypt. There is another part of the ‘Feast of Weeks’ that is very important, but is a mystery to many Biblical scholars. The Feast of Weeks revolves around a prophetic calculation (7 x 7 = 49), especially Daniel’s Prophecy, concerning the 70 weeks (70 x 7 = 490; Dn. 9:24) and the year of Jubilee, which occurred every 50 years (Lev. 25:8-10). Both of these numbers (49 and 490) are another expression of the ‘Feast of Weeks’ because they are based upon the number ‘7.’ The year of Jubilee is also based on the number '7.' Jubilee occurs after every seventh sabbath year or 7 x 7 = 49 years. Daniel’s 70 weeks of prophecy which is 70 x 7 = 490 years follow the same formula.

A divine calculation: The Feast of Weeks symbolizes a divine calculation argued Drs. Lee and Penny Warren BA,DD, M in The Spiritual Significance of the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost" "When Yahweh spoke the Law to Israel at Mt. Sinai, this was the first Pentecost, but they were unaware of it. Each of them heard the Law in their consciousness and trembled and quaked at Yahweh's voice". (Exo. 19:16-19).

Tidy timetables: From the time Israel resurrected out of the Red Sea and entered the Wilderness, to the time Yahweh spoke from Mt. Sinai, was exactly 50 days (Ex. 19:1). So from the killing of the lamb in Egypt, which instituted the Feast of Passover (Ex. 12:1-12) to Yahweh speaking at Mt. Sinai was 53 days.

Crucifixion calculations shows magic math: "This is exactly the number of days from the Messiah's death on the cross to the out pouring of the Holy Spirit. [NOTE: We have to include an extra day between Abib 14th and Abib 16th. A phenomenal day occurred during those two days when the Phenomenal Cloud gave light to Israel as they went through the Red Sea and kept the Egyptians in darkness (Ex. 14:19-20).]"

Festivals modified to fit new politics: David Noss in "Man’s Religion, 7th Edition, David S. Noss, Macmillan Publishing Comp., 1984, p. 404" wrote "For forty-nine days after the Seder [Passover] Feast ... no joyous occasions, including marriages were allowed. Then on the fiftieth day came Shebhuoth — the Feast of Weeks (in the New Testament called Pentecost), a day of joy once set aside to commemorate the first-fruits of the spring wheat harvest, then modified to include thanksgiving for the giving of the Law at Sinai, which was held to have occurred at the same time of year.

Temple mathematicians debate dates: "There was a controversy between the Sadducees and the Pharisees on when to start counting 49 days, 7 weeks after Passover (Ex. 23:16; 34:22; Lev. 23:15-21). One group thought the commemoration of the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai included the Feast of First Fruits that began the wheat harvest and the other thought the Passover began the Feast of Weeks. On the Feast of Weeks Yahweh required all males in Israel to present themselves before Him at the Temple. This day was a holy convocation where there was no manner of work performed. The Feast of Weeks was treated just as a Sabbath day (Lev. 23:1-3).

New Christian religion fits into sevens: Pentecost began June 6, A.D. 33 when the Holy Spirit was revealed in the consciousness of man (Acts 2:1-4). This event was foreshadowed when the children of Israel gathered around Mt. Sinai for the revelation of the Ten Commandment Law (Ex. 19th Chapter) which occurred exactly 50 days after their resurrection through the divided waters of the Red Sea (Exo. 21:14-15) on June 6, 1490 B.Y. Therefore, the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost commemorated the giving of the Law at Mt. Sinai (Heb. 12:18-24).


Post a Comment

<< Home