logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
European Travel
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Buddhism Site

BellaOnline's Buddhism Editor

g

Vesak and Saga Dawa


Vesak, the most important holy day of the year to many Buddhists around the world, will be celebrated on May 24th or 25th in 2013, depending on the country and branch of Buddhism. Sometimes referred to as 'Buddha's birthday', this day actually commemorates the Buddha's birth, enlightenment, and death. The date varies from year to year, but in the Chinese lunar calendar falls on the full moon of the fourth lunar month. It is also called 'Visakha Puja' in some traditions, and corresponds to 'Saga Dawa' in the Tibetan Buddhist calendar, which is actually the entire lunar month, although celebrations do culminate on May 25th in 2013.

Saga Dawa Although celebrations differ around the world, Vesak is generally a time for coming together to honor the Buddha, and to make offerings. Pilgrimages to sacred locations are common, and in some traditions, practitioners practice all night, or at the very least gather before dawn, in local monasteries, temples, or sacred locations (as in the case of this picture, where Tibetan Buddhists hang new prayer flags at the sacred Mount Kailash for Saga Dawa.) It is a time for renewing vows to follow precepts, and for adhering strictly to the precepts. In many countries, vegetarianism is especially emphasized on this day, and often on the days preceding and following. In some cases governments even ban the slaughtering of animals around this time.

Vesak is also traditionally observed by making a special effort to give to others less fortunate. Charitable gifts may be made to those ill or in need. Lay practitioners often give to their local temples and monasteries, and listen to dharma talks given there, to reinvigorate their own practice. Within Tibetan Buddhism, certain compassion practices are considered especially beneficial during Saga Dawa, and the karmas are considered magnified, with any positive karmic deeds resulting in more benefit than at other times.

All of these traditions are variations on the same idea: That the best way to honor the Buddha's attainment and teachings is by practicing oneself. Because the Buddha urged all practitioners to follow in his footsteps and attain their own realization, these celebrations are meant to reinforce our own dedication to the path, rather than to be forms of worship. Through practicing meditation, ahimsa (nonviolence) and generosity, we renew our own commitment to the dharma. Through this renewed intent, our efforts have a special momentum, or karmic benefit, associated with them.

Add Vesak+and+Saga+Dawa to Twitter Add Vesak+and+Saga+Dawa to Facebook Add Vesak+and+Saga+Dawa to MySpace Add Vesak+and+Saga+Dawa to Del.icio.us Digg Vesak+and+Saga+Dawa Add Vesak+and+Saga+Dawa to Yahoo My Web Add Vesak+and+Saga+Dawa to Google Bookmarks Add Vesak+and+Saga+Dawa to Stumbleupon Add Vesak+and+Saga+Dawa to Reddit




2013 Buddhist Holidays
RSS
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Buddhism Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Lisa Erickson. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lisa Erickson. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Lisa Erickson for details.

g


g features
Four On-Demand Movies About Tibetan Buddhism

Buddhist Rebirth

Intro to Buddhism and Buddhist Meditation Ebook

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor