Bodhi Day (Rohatsu)

by Bob Schwartz

Bodhi Day, marking the Buddha’s enlightenment, is known as Rohatsu in Japan and is celebrated there on December 8.

IT IS SAID that soon after his enlightenment the Buddha passed a man on the road who was struck by the Buddha’s extraordinary radiance and peaceful presence. The man stopped and asked, “My friend, what are you? Are you a celestial being or a god?”

“No,” said the Buddha.

“Well, then, are you some kind of magician or wizard?” Again the Buddha answered, “No.”

“Are you a man?”


“Well, my friend, then what are you?” The Buddha replied, “I am awake.”