What is Saga Dawa / Festival of Vaishakha's Day ?
Vaishakha Day is a major Buddhist holiday which commemorates three major events in the life of the historic Shakyamuni Buddha: his birth, enlightenment, and pairinirvana.
Saga Dawa / Vesak Day or Sangye & Nyangde Duchen Day on May 29, 2018 is the 15th (full moon) day of the fourth lunar month. It’s known as the anniversary of Buddha Shakyamuni’s Enlightenment and Mahaparinirvana. At the age of thirty-five Buddha attained enlightenment at Bodhgaya. This day also marks the anniversary of his parinirvana at Kushinagara.
Saga Dawa / Vesak Day or Sangye & Nyangde Duchen Day, It’s one of the most sacred day for all Buddhists. The effects of all positive and negative actions are multiplied by 10,000,000 times!
The Saga Dawa Festival worships the life of Buddha and coincides with three crucial events in his life: birth, nirvana, and death. In Tibetan "Saga" means "fourth” and "Dawa" means “month,” which is why the festival is celebrated through the whole 4th Tibetan month and is believed to be one of the most significant religious occasions solemnized in Tibet which casts aside all barriers of color, religion, or nationality.
Within the framework of their tradition, Buddha, while dying, told one of his followers not to honour him merely with lights, flowers, and incense after his death, but by aiming to follow his teachings about being compassionate and kind and living a big-hearted life. That's why during the celebration, many people give out alms to the pleading and refrain from killing animals.
During this festival, a large number of pilgrims come to Lhasa to visit the monasteries and take part in the ritual walk around the Lingkhor path. A late afternoon picnic in the Dzongyab Lukhang Park is another excellent way to be connected during Saga Dawa, these outings to the foot of the Potala is a yearly ritual for Tibetan people.
Celebrations are held all over Tibet, but one of the greatest and most famous can be found at Tarboche at the foot of Mt. Kailash. If you want to visit this sacred place, you might need a special permit.
Pilgrims come early in the morning and gather around the huge ceremonial flagpole with hundreds of colorful prayer flags attached to it. Before the ceremony starts, a group of lamas has come closer to the flagpole and play woodwind instruments. When the music begins, pilgrims begin to walk around the prayer flags.
As soon as the 25m high flagpoles are raised, followers start to throw the Highland barley powder on themselves, which is believed to bring luck.
Thousands of pilgrims start to throw colorful prayers into the air. They are believed to be carried by the wind to heaven. When the ritual is finished, part of the followers make 13 circles around the flagpole and pray, and the other part starts their "kora," which is a sacred trek around Mt. Kailash.
Every drop of water helps to swell the ocean
Every good and bad action will not go unnoticed
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Aspiration For Bodhichitta
For those in whom the precious Bodhichitta has not arisen
May it arise and not decrease
But increase further and further.
Dedication of Merit
By this merit may we obtain omniscience then.
Having defeated the enemies wrong-doings.
May we liberate migratory from the ocean of existence.
With its stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death.
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