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VESAKHA DAY - Dhamma Wheel

VESAKHA DAY

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
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yawares
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Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:23 pm

VESAKHA DAY

Postby yawares » Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:15 am

Dear Members,

Do you know that today is the beautiful full moon Vesakha Day?


***************
:candle: VESAKHA DAY :candle:
[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

History

The decision to agree to celebrate the Vesākha as the Buddha’s birthday was formalized at the first Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists held in Sri Lanka in 1950, although festivals at this time in the Buddhist world are a centuries-old tradition. The Resolution that was adopted at the World Conference reads as follows:

“That this Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists, while recording its appreciation of the gracious act of His Majesty, the Maharaja of Nepal in making the full-moon day of Vesak a Public Holiday in Nepal, earnestly requests the Heads of Governments of all countries in which large or small number of Buddhists are to be found, to take steps to make the full-moon day in the month of May a Public Holiday in honour of the Buddha, who is universally acclaimed as one of the greatest benefactors of Humanity.”

On Vesākha Day, Buddhists all over the world commemorate events of significance to Buddhists of all traditions: The birth, enlightenment and the passing away of Gautama Buddha. As Buddhism spread from India it was assimilated into many foreign cultures, and consequently Vesākha is celebrated in many different ways all over the world.

In 1999, the United Nations resolved to internationally observe the day of Vesak at its headquarters and offices.

The celebration of Vesākha

May 2007 had two full moon days, the 1st and the 31st. Some countries (including Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Malaysia) celebrated Vesākha on the 1st, while others (Thailand, Singapore) celebrated the holiday on the 31st due to different local lunar observance. This difference also manifests in the observance of other Buddhist holidays, which are traditionally observed at the local full moon.

Likewise, in 2012, Vesak or the birth anniversary of the Buddha will be observed on 28 April in Hong Kong and Taiwan, on 5 May in Sri Lanka, on 6 May in India, on 28 May in South Korea and on 4 June in Thailand.

On Vesākha day, devout Buddhists and followers alike are expected and requested to assemble in their various temples before dawn for the ceremonial, and honorable, hoisting of the Buddhist flag and the singing of hymns in praise of the holy triple gem: The Buddha, The Dharma (his teachings), and The Sangha (his disciples). Devotees may bring simple offerings of flowers, candles and joss-sticks to lay at the feet of their teacher. These symbolic offerings are to remind followers that just as the beautiful flowers would wither away after a short while and the candles and joss-sticks would soon burn out, so too is life subject to decay and destruction. Devotees are enjoined to make a special effort to refrain from killing of any kind. They are encouraged to partake of vegetarian food for the day. In some countries, notably Sri Lanka, two days are set aside for the celebration of Vesākha and all liquor shops and slaughter houses are closed by government decree during the two days. Also birds, insects and animals are released by the thousands in what is known as a 'symbolic act to liberation'; of giving freedom to those who are in captivity, imprisoned, or tortured against their will. Some devout Buddhists will wear a simple white dress and spend the whole day in temples with renewed determination to observe the eight Precepts.

Young novice on Vesākha Day Parade

Devout Buddhists undertake to lead a noble life according to the teaching by making daily affirmations to observe the Five Precepts. However, on special days, notably new moon and full moon days, they observe the eight Precepts to train themselves to practice morality, simplicity and humility.

Some temples also display a small image of the baby Buddha in front of the altar in a small basin filled with water and decorated with flowers, allowing devotees to pour water over the statue; it is symbolic of the cleansing of a practitioner's bad karma, and to reenact the events following the Buddha's birth, when devas and spirits made heavenly offerings to him.

Devotees are expected to listen to talks given by monks. On this day monks will recite verses uttered by the Buddha twenty-five centuries ago, to invoke peace and happiness for the Government and the people. Buddhists are reminded to live in harmony with people of other faiths and to respect the beliefs of other people as the Buddha had taught.

Bringing happiness to others

Celebrating Vesākha also means making special efforts to bring happiness to the unfortunate like the aged, the handicapped and the sick. To this day, Buddhists will distribute gifts in cash and kind to various charitable homes throughout the country. Vesākha is also a time for great joy and happiness, expressed not by pandering to one’s appetites but by concentrating on useful activities such as decorating and illuminating temples, painting and creating exquisite scenes from the life of the Buddha for public dissemination. Devout Buddhists also vie with one another to provide refreshments and vegetarian food to followers who visit the temple to pay homage to the Enlightened One.

Paying homage to the Buddha

Tradition ascribes to the Buddha himself instruction on how to pay him homage. Just before he died, he saw his faithful attendant Ananda, weeping. The Buddha advised him not to weep, but to understand the universal law that all compounded things (including even his own body) must disintegrate. He advised everyone not to cry over the disintegration of the physical body but to regard his teachings (The Dhamma) as their teacher from then on, because only the Dhamma truth is eternal and not subject to the law of change. He also stressed that the way to pay homage to him was not merely by offering flowers, incense, and lights, but by truly and sincerely striving to follow his teachings. This is how buddhists are expected to celebrate Vesak: to use the opportunity to reiterate their determination to lead noble lives, to develop their minds, to practise loving-kindness and to bring peace and harmony to humanity.

*********************
Love Buddha's dhamma,
yawares/sirikanya
:heart:

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LonesomeYogurt
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:24 pm
Location: America

Re: VESAKHA DAY

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:29 pm

Hoorah! I'm going to celebrate today with some Thai students from the local college. A great day to reflect on our lives and what we're doing with them.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta


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yawares
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Re: VESAKHA DAY

Postby yawares » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:24 pm


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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: VESAKHA DAY

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:14 pm

Only in the Thai tradition, apparently. I presume that the Thai calendar added an extra month this year.

The Burmese and Sri Lankans already celebrated last month, and this month is Poson for Sri Lankan Buddhists, which celebrates the arrival of in Sri Lanka to teach the Dhamma for the first time.

Any day that you find time to practice dāna, sīla, or bhāvanā is an auspicious day.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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mikenz66
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Location: New Zealand

Re: VESAKHA DAY

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:03 pm

Yes, we discussed this calendar disagreement with the local Sri Lankan monks who turned up to visit our Thai Wat on Vesaka (yesterday for us out here...). I guess it's more opportunity to celebrate...

We did the usual chanting, circumabulation three times of the hall, chanting "Itipi so...", an alms round (round the car park...), and meditation in the evening.

:anjali:
Mike

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yawares
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Re: VESAKHA DAY

Postby yawares » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:09 pm


User avatar
yawares
Posts: 1532
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:23 pm

Re: VESAKHA DAY

Postby yawares » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:31 pm


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mikenz66
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Location: New Zealand

Re: VESAKHA DAY

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:34 pm

We carry the candles and the incense, but it's always too windy here to keep them burning, so we don't even try to start them any more... :tongue:

This year we had some very fragrant small flowers...

:anjali:
Mike

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gavesako
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Re: VESAKHA DAY

Postby gavesako » Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:58 pm

The UN Vesakha conference in Bangkok seems to be well organized with participation from well-known people. They explain the meaning of the symbols here:
http://www.undv.org/vesak2012/en/symbol.php

:namaste:
It is thought to be the 2600 year anniversary since the Buddha's Awakening.

Have you watched some of the Buddhajayanti songs that they have produced in Thailand now?
Just search for พุทธชยันตี on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aUpKw-K ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMLvCZ266gY (this one is with international emphasis)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7GmsAkD9x4 (made in Lampang)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOcQtXWF ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2J3gZImhfig (Lanna style)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqPUbGIidEc (with a cartoon -- I liked this one most :)

:buddha1:
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
- Sutta translations

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yawares
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Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:23 pm

Re: VESAKHA DAY

Postby yawares » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:23 am


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gavesako
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Re: VESAKHA DAY

Postby gavesako » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:15 am

We did meditation until midnight, reading from Tipitaka, and walking around Stupa -- the usual way of celebration.

Here you can see how they did it in Italy (during the day):

http://youtu.be/ixTLmApaKp8
:bow:
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
- Sutta translations

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Hanzze
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Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:47 pm
Location: Cambodia

Re: VESAKHA DAY

Postby Hanzze » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:48 am

Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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yawares
Posts: 1532
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:23 pm

Re: VESAKHA DAY

Postby yawares » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:29 pm


User avatar
yawares
Posts: 1532
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:23 pm

Re: VESAKHA DAY

Postby yawares » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:33 pm

[quote="Hanzze"]Seeing religion as one of the main actuator of business and traffic (with all its effects) in South East Asia, this Story usually comes into my mind:

[quote]
Dear Hanzz_,

Thank you very much for the wonderful story.
yawares

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gavesako
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Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:16 pm

Re: VESAKHA DAY

Postby gavesako » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:17 pm

Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
- Sutta translations

User avatar
yawares
Posts: 1532
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:23 pm

Re: VESAKHA DAY

Postby yawares » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:07 pm



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