I experienced this in Ceylon.

I went to the Temple about six o’clock in the evening when it was already dark.

A golden image of Buddha gleamed in the lamp light and many young girls, with shallow bowls full of jasmin blossoms, were shaking the flowers on to the altar of the Buddha and murmuring a mantra.

A Buddhist monk was my companion and I asked him: “Are they worshiping the Buddha”?

“Oh no”, he replied, “the Buddha does not exist any longer, he has gone into the Maha Nirvana from which there is no return.”

I asked him what they were saying as they scattered their flowers.

He replied: “They repeat a mantra to the effect that as the flowers fade so do our earthly lives”.

The evening devotion of these young Buddhists was no invocation, no petition to God, but an admonition to themselves. ~Carl Jung, ETH Lecture 10 Nov 1939. [Excerpt]

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