Quick Facts

  • Putra is the mascot of MVBT 2020 Obon at Home.
  • He is black and white.
  • His pronouns are he/him.
  • He is our minister Rev. Mukojima’s, “right hand panda”.
  • He is the only member of MVBT to have a coloring book dedicated to him.

Who is that friendly panda?

Shortly after the 2013 Obon, Rev. Mukojima introduced the Sangha to his shy furry friend, Putra. Since then Putra sometimes shares Dharma talks with Sensei. Close up, the fuzzy black-and-white charmer is small. He’s about a foot tall and weighs less than a pound. When he talks, he seems so much bigger. He has a huge heart, insatiable curiosity, and — thanks to Sensei’s lessons — a growing understanding of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. 

As the world in 2020 turned topsy-turvy with a global pandemic and social unrest in the United States, activities at Mountain View Buddhist Temple (MVBT) came to a screeching halt. MVBT members had to stay home. Everyone had to learn to wash their hands a lot and wear masks in public. Public gatherings were not allowed. The once busy temple grounds were quiet. 

As Putra had learned to expect: Change Happens. So he was happy to see what happened next at MVBT. Dharma service went on-line. Taiko classes went on-line. The ukulele club kept strumming on-line. The Vision Committee held workshops on-line. And MVBT started planning for 2020 Obon at Home. All of this was no surprise to Putra. It was a great example of the Buddhist value of impermanence. And then Putra got a big surprise!

By consensus – which means “general agreement” – Putra was chosen to be the mascot for the 2020 MVBT Obon at Home celebration. Thankfully, Putra courageously stepped up to his new calling. Now Sensei’s shy furry friend is at the center of MVBT 2020 Obon at Home. His big heart and wide smile is everywhere, as he welcomes everyone to MVBT’s first-ever Obon at Home!

Fun Facts

  • Putra’s tail is NOT the color of a panda in the wild or in the zoo. Pandas have a WHITE tail, but Putra has a BLACK tail. He’s truly one of a kind!
  • Putra’s name comes from Sariputra, one of Buddha’s 10 Great Disciples who was known for his great wisdom. It is pronounced sha-ree poo-trah. Sariputra is often shown on the right side of Buddha – just like Putra appears on Sensei’s right side during Dharma talks. 
  • Putra’s favorite Obon foods – Spam musubi & beef skewer.
  • Putra’s favorite Odori (Japanese dance) – Tanko Bushi.
  • Putra’s all-time favorite food – Bamboo!