Saka Dawa meaning
(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 Buddha birth in Lumbini, Nepal (actually entry into mother’s womb), enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, India and pari nirvana (word commonly used to refer to parinirvana-which occurs upon the death of the body of someone who has attained nirvana during his or her lifetime) of the Buddha Shakyamuni at Kushinagar.
Most holy of all 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
In 2023, the 15th day of the month, also called Saka Dawa Duchen, will fall on June 4, 2023
The merit of any good deeds that you perform during this month are considered to be 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 Muniye Soha
*Making prostrations around holy sites
*Giving money to beggars
*Lighting butter lamps
*Making pilgrimages to holy places
*Buying all kinds of animals that are going to be killed and releasing them. (Fish, for example)
*Circumambulating around stupas or other holy places. (This means walking clock-wise around a holy site while praying or reciting mantras.)
It is very common to take the 8 Mahayana precepts for twenty-four, forty eight or seventy two hours during Saka Dawa, especially on either the full moon day, 15th of lunar calendar. 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 8 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 even swallow during this 24 hour period and keep a jar to spit in. We also observe silence and we 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 or compassion, wishing for liberation for yourselves and Mo their beings will create vast amounts of merit.
At our monastery Segyu Gaden Phodrang we celebrate with performing fasting ritual of Avalokiteshvara thousand arms on base of Geden Oral Lineage through Lobsang Chökyi Gyaltsen, 4th Panchen Lama, we carry on our tradition this kind of ritual since Tibet through now.
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. Please click on this link below for your generous contribution and donation.