It is one-week before Thai New Year (Songkran) which I think measures the time between the Buddha’s death and the date today! This date today is 2,563 and will change to 2,564 (Buddhist-Era) on Wednesday, April 13th! However, in China the Buddha’s birthdate is believed to be around 500-years earlier than the date currently assumed by the Thai government. If memory serves me correctly, the Thai government and Thai Buddhis establishment took 500-years off of the Buddha’s assumed lifetime in ancient India following pressure from Western scholarship. This was a controversial adjustment not accepted within the Chinese Buddhist establishment or many areas of Indian academia. Western scholarship, although logical is often lacking in key areas of contextual historical and cultural data and information. This means that incorrect assumptions are made premised upon false, incomplete and inaccurate information. Within Chinese Buddhism, the Buddha was born around 1029/28 BCE and died around 949/48 BCE. However, in Thailand this has all been reduced by around 500-years so that the Buddha is now assumed to have been born in 545 BCE and passed away in 465 BCE. The point is that no one knows for sure the exact year, or the exact dates within the year that the Buddha was born, gained enlightenment and died as there are many variants! Such is the vagaries associated with religion. Buddhism, for us, is a vehicle for self-liberation and the compassionate liberation of others! We are not ‘religious’ – and just like the Buddha – use meditation to clear and calm our minds for the betterment of service to humanity!