Sunday, February 22, 2015

Why March 5th?

Many people asked me if I had a specific reason for choosing March 5th for the release of my novel, "The Sacrifist," which is an adventure about the discovery of the yeti (Bigfoot) in the Himalaya. I hinted at the time that I did. Let me explain it to you now.

In the beginning of my book there are two quotes from the Buddha. Both quotes foreshadow two of the themes in the book. Here is one of the quotes:

“Monks, even if bandits were to savagely sever you, limb by limb, with a double-handled saw, even then, whoever of you harbors ill will at heart would not be upholding my Teaching. Monks, even in such a situation you should train yourselves thus: ‘Neither shall our minds be affected by this, nor for this matter shall we give vent to evil words, but we shall remain full of concern and pity, with a mind of love, and we shall not give in to hatred. On the contrary, we shall live projecting thoughts of universal love to those very persons, making them as well as the whole world the object of our thoughts of universal love—thoughts that have grown great, exalted and measureless. We shall dwell radiating these thoughts which are void of hostility and ill will.’ It is in this way, monks, that you should train yourselves.” ~ Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha

So a major theme in the book is compassion, despite what evil has befallen a person. It is an often used trick by people seeking to dominate others, to get those others to hate. People in power often use this device to sway public sentiment to agree with their own hidden agenda. If Bill hates Bob and he can get others to hate Bob, it bolsters Bill's position. Don't let others manipulate you by getting you to hate. There is nothing constructive about hating others, no matter what they have done. Hating Hitler did no one an ounce of good. It only made the people feeling their own hate upset. Their hate didn't hurt Hitler one bit. Of course, when there are people like Hitler running around it may be necessary to do something about them, but there is no reason to do it with hate in your heart.

Evil exists in the world. Don't let it affect you by hating it. 

Buddhism has a major role in the book too. On page 1 of the book there is an ancient Tibetan myth which I found while doing my research for the book. If you have downloaded the free sample you have read the myth. In the myth, the Bodhisattva (person who has attained Enlightenment, but who postpones Nirvana to help others on earth attain Enlightenment) Avalokitesvara is mentioned. Avalokitesvara is the Bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. This particular Bodhisattva is variably portrayed in different cultures as either female or male and is often considered the second most important Buddha after Siddhārtha Gautama.

There is a Buddhist festival that celebrates this ideal of compassion for one's fellow human beings. That festival is celebrated on Avalokitesvara's birthday which is calculated to be on the first full moon in March. In this year of 2015 that day falls on the date of March 5th. 

Now you know the significance of why I chose that date for the release of my book and I sincerely wish peace and love to all of you who took the time to read this post.
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