Saturday, May 15, 2010

Holy week...SAGA DAWA


Once again it is into the month of May where Buddhists all over the world will celebrate Vesak Day,

To Tibetans Buddhists, 27th May is known as Saga Dawa Day and it is the holiest time of the Tiebtan calendar. This is the time as recorded that Buddha was born, attained Enlightenment and Parnivarna. However people observed starting from New Moon (14th May) day and follow through to Full Moon (27 May) as a holy period. It is an auspicious time to do all good deeds as it multiplies by 100,000 but not forgetting that all bad deeds will have the same effect. Remember DO GOOD and DO NO EVIL, during this period and all the time too.

Many temples are gearing up for the celebrations. Prayer schedules are set, Lives releasing schedule are set, getting ready necessary offerings and getting ready candles and other items that will help people create positive merits on the day.

In Singapore, different traditions of Buddhists have their own way of celebrating. The common one will be bathing the Baby Buddha. On this day in ancient time, it was said that Lady Maya gave birth under a tree when she held on to a branch. The Baby than walked seven little steps and with each step, a lotus flower sprung to hold his little feet. On the seven steps, the Baby pointed a finger to the sky and said..."Of Heaven and Of Earth, I am the King".

Many devotees undertake vegetarian vows for this period to cleanse their negative actions. Others look forward to tasting vegetarian meals prepared by each temple which differs from each other. It is a 'makan day', a holy day for positive activities and meeting up friends and temples visiting day too.

Many years back I undertook the 'Three steps, One bow' in different temples. It is an exercise of the body and mind plus devotion to Buddha, cleansing accumulated negative karma and at the same time remember this great Teacher who showed us the way out of Samsara.

This day is also a declared World wide public holiday. Especially in the Eastern countries, this day is taken very seriously. Vesak is like Christmas to the Christian.

All great teachers have their own legend behind them. Buddhism is way before Christianity. As Buddha was born under a tree, Chris was born in a shed. Both taught Compassion and Love, however Buddha emphasized on Cause and Effect. Buddhism is about self salvation.

So on Saga Dawa week, I pray that all beings be well, be happy, be safe, be healthy and may all good deeds multiply in merits and dedicate to all Beings and the world so that there will be lesser calamities.

Happy Saga Dawa and Happy Vesak to All.

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