Segyu Gaden Phodrang Monastery

Past Events

Saka Dawa 2020

At dawn, we begin the observation of the Saka Dawa days.( See schedule below). This year will include 1,000 Offerings Puja to 1,000-Armed Avaloketishvara on the first and second days, as well as homage to the birthday of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, who has shown us much encouragement and support over the years.

If any of our friends would like the opportunity to sponsor offerings for these pujas, waters, flowers, lights, incense you are must welcome. Or general offering for dedications we will do also. Link for offerings is at the end of this post.

4 June 2020

4:00am: Eight Mahayana Precepts followed by 1000 Offerings Puja to 1,000-Armed Avaloketishvara with extensive prostration and mantra recitation in 3 sessions: 4:00am-7:30am, 9am-11:30am, 2:30pm-5:30pm

Included in this first day will also be celebration of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche.

5 June 2020 (Full Moon Day and most important) this day is fasting and silence

4:00am: Eight Mahayana Precepts followed by start of 1,000-Armed Avaloketishvara with extensive prostration and mantra recitation in 3 sessions: 4:00am-8am, 9am-11:30am, 2:30pm-5:30pm

6 June

4:00am: Receiving Blessing of Vase Water and breaking fast with thin porridge followed by conclusion of 1,000-Armed Avaloketishvara puja

Clarification on fasting.  If doing a full fast: Lunch on the 4th will be last meal until breaking fast on the morning of the 6th. Water can be taken on 4th, but no water, food, or talking on the 5th. If you are observing the full moon day fast only (5th) you will have only lunch meal on that day; no food, water or talking until breaking fast on morning of the 6th

What is Saka Dawa ?

Saka Dawa (Dawa means “month” in Tibetan, and the term Saka, comes from Tibetan astrology, and the Saka star, which is associated with the full moon of the fourth lunar month) is the most sacred of Tibetan Buddhist holidays. We celebrate the birth of Buddha, enlightenment, and parinirvana. 

The Saka Dawa month observations begin on the 1st day of the fourth Tibetan month. Most holy is the full moon day of Saka Dawa, the 15th day of the month, which is the date most commonly associated with not only Buddha’s birth but also his enlightenment and parinirvana. 

The merit of any good deeds you perform during this month are multiplied many times over – by as much as one hundred million times – so it is an excellent time to dedicate ourselves to all kinds of spiritually positive actions.

Some good actions that are commonly taken to accumulate merit during Saka Dawa, especially on the 15th day, are:

  • Refraining from eating meat
  • Offering donations to monasteries or nunneries or to individual monks or nuns
  • Praying and reciting mantras (such as the refuge prayer, the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra, or the Buddha Shakyamuni’s mantra Om Muni Muni Maha Muni ye Soha
  • Making prostrations around holy sites
  • Giving money to beggars
  • Lighting butter lamps
  • Making pilgrimages to sacred places
  • Buying all kinds of animals that will be killed and releasing them. (Fish, for example)
  • Circumambulating around stupas or other holy places. (This means walking clockwise around a sacred site while praying or reciting mantras.

 

It is common to take the eight Mahayana precepts for 24, 48, or 72 hours during Saka Dawa, especially on either the full moon day or the new moon day – the 15th day or the 30th day of Saka Dawa. The full moon day is considered to be more powerful for the accumulation of merit. Some monks and practitioners choose to observe these precepts for the entire month.

The eight Mahayana precepts are:

1. Avoid killing, directly or indirectly

2. Avoid stealing and taking things without the permission of their owner.

3. Avoid sexual contact.

4. Avoid lying and deceiving others.

5. Avoid intoxicants: alcohol, tobacco, and recreational drugs.

6. Avoid eating more than one meal that day.

7. Avoid sitting on a high, expensive bed or seat with pride. Also, avoid sitting on animal skins.

8. Avoid wearing jewelry, perfume, and make-up. Avoid singing, dancing, or playing music with a mind of attachment.

By refraining from food and drink and taking the suffering of hunger and thirst, we think, “by this may I purify all negative created to be born as a hungry ghost, and may the karma of those living as hungry ghosts now be swiftly purified.” Some practitioners will not swallow during these 24 hours and keep a jar to spit in. 

We also observe silence and think, “by this may I purify all negative karma of speech that I have created to be born in lower realms, and may the karma of those living in lower realms now be swiftly purified.” We make extensive prostrations this day and think, “by this may I purify all negative actions created by body, speech, and mind that will cause rebirth in lower realms, and may the karma of those living in lower realms now be swiftly purified.”

Done with good motivation, wishing for liberation for yourselves and others will create vast amounts of merit.

If any of our friends would like to sponsor offerings for these pujas, waters, flowers, lights, and incense, you are welcome. Or general offering for dedications we will also do.

We welcome all visitors and guests to come and learn more about this precious gem of a monastery.

Segyu Gaden Phodrang Monastery

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Segyu Gaden Phodrang Monastery