“The most important month in the Tibetan lunar calendar is Saga Dawa, the 4th lunar month that runs from May 23 to June 22, 2020. The 15th day of this lunar month, the full moon day, is called Saga Dawa Düchen (Düchen) means “big occasion”). In 2020 Saga Dawa Düchen stands out Friday June 5th. T.His day is the only one important holy day of the year for Tibetan Buddhists.
Saga Dawa Düchen commemorates the birth, enlightenment and parinirvana of our perfect and highest teacher Buddha Shakyamuni. In other Buddhist traditions, this event is known as Buddha Purnima or Buddha Day and is celebrated earlier than Saga Dawa because it is based on a different lunar calendar. Last year, we celebrated this auspicious event at the Buddhist Institute with an intertraditional meeting that brought Venerables and other Dharma brothers and sisters from four different Buddhist temples together. We may come from different traditions, but we all follow and praise the same leading teacher, Buddha Shakyamuni. ” – from Universal Compassion website.
Buddhist teachers always remind us to meditate on impermanence to give us a sense of urgency, to meditate, and to practice. Saga Dawa (sometimes Saka Dawa) is the “Month of earnings“Where traditionally all our meritorious karma is particularly fruitful. It’s a particularly good month to practice the three reasons:
- Dana: Generosity
- Sila: Morality and good behavior
- B.Havana: Meditation or spiritual development / practice
Saga is named for a star that plays a prominent role in this lunar month, and Dawa means only “month”. It starts on June 3 (new moon) and ends on July 2 (new moon) in 2019.
Saga Dawa Duchen
The most important day of the month (for many Buddhists maybe for the whole year) is Saga Dawa Duchen under a full moon. Duchen means “great opportunity” and this year falls on the full moon day, June 17th. It is similar to Vesak in Theravadin Buddhism – it celebrates the birth, enlightenment and paranirvana of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Do merit – scrub away the negative karma
Every meritorious act in the Holy Month is particularly fruitful. Positive actions can help us “scrub the negative karma”. Traditionally, the positive karma multiplies each month, especially with Saga Dawa Duchen. For many practitioners, this means additional practice (Bhavana or meditation), and it is also the month to be particularly careful with sila (morality). Many Buddhists become vegetarians in the Holy Month – at least on the day of Saga Dawa Duchen.
Here are the ways to “do merit” in Saga Dawa in the meritorious month:
- Observe all regulations: do not kill, steal, abuse sex, lie and abuse intoxicants (for lay fans)
- Do additional personal exercises, mantras, sadhanas
- Make additional Tsogs deals, especially on normal Tsog days, as well as Saga Dawa Duchen
- Request pujas
- Pilgrimages to holy places
- Visit the temple or the gompa or the center more often.
- Adore stupas and shrines – especially the formal circumnavigation (where you prostrate yourself while circling and sing mantras)
- Dana and give, and especially to monks and temples
- Donations to the poor and especially donations to people in need who are homeless
- Lighting butter lamps to dispel the darkness
- At least go vegetarian, duchen, and ideally the whole month
- Buy certain animals for slaughter and release them humanly – but it’s critical too just Release where it is human: The release of a non-native animal is NOT meritorious, or the release of an animal that is at risk is also negative Action, or the release of an animal that was specifically caught for release is also negative.
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