SUKHO BUDDHANAM UPPĀDO!
Happy is the Birth of All Buddhas.
The Buddha is an embodiment of great wisdom and compassion. And wisdom and compassion is what we all need to cultivate, especially during this time of crises. Through wisdom, we will know how to take good care of ourselves, and with compassion, we will be able to reach out to others.
This year, due to the Movement Control Order, you will not be able to visit temples as usual to make offerings and prayers… Never mind! Take this opportunity to visit your inner temple. The real temple is within your own hearts.
Remember that there are two kinds of offerings or PUJĀ. There is ĀMISA PUJĀ and PATIPATTI PUJĀ.
ĀMISA PUJĀ is the offering of lights, incense, flowers and so on. It includes all the material offerings. You can still do this during the e-Vesak celebrations with offerings of lights and also make various offerings in your own home.
The second type of offering is called PATIPATTI PUJĀ. It refers to the offering of practice. So, for this year’s Vesak, as we celebrate the Birth, Enlightenment and the Great Passing Away (of MAHAPARINIBBANA) of the Buddha, you should all spend the whole day immersed in the Dhamma. You can do this by practising Metta, loving-kindness, meditation at least twice a day, morning and evening (best would be just before sunrise and sunset), and in between, during the day, you should cultivate mindfulness as much as you can. Watch your thoughts, speech and body actions. Please make an effort to overcome any wrong thoughts, speech and body action with Right Thought, Right Speech and Right Body Actions.
We should understand that the peace and harmony that we pray for – especially at this present time – can only arise when there is peace and wellbeing in our own minds and hearts. That is why it is so important for us to train our own body, speech and mind to become peaceful. The peace we generate within us will naturally influence those around us, extending to the whole world.
Start the day by paying homage to the Buddha, Dhamma and the Sangha in your own home. If you do not have a proper shrine, you can improvise one. It would be good if you could also get your parents, spouse and other family members to join in. Otherwise, you can do it yourself and think of them as you do.
Make offerings of light, flowers, incense etc. Then bow down three times, paying homage to the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. Go for refuge, by reciting ‘Buddham saranam gacchami…’. Renew your five precepts, or take the eight precepts especially for Vesak Day – it’s up to you.
If your parents are around, pay respects to your parents. Thank them for all the good things they have done for you. Truly express your gratitude to them. If tears well up in your eyes – very good! Seek forgiveness for anything which you have done that may have hurt or offended them. Then sincerely wish them to have long, health and happy lives. And also tell them not to worry, that you will walk the Dhamma’s path and take care of them in their old age.
If your parents are no more, just think of them and later dedicate merits for their spiritual wellbeing.
You should also rejoice in and appreciate all the attention and care you have received from your teachers and all other family members.
Then, celebrate. Celebrate your own virtues of reverence, humility and gratitude. Rejoice in the goodness of others around you.
After that, sit somewhere quietly and start your meditation.
At the end of the day, after immersing yourself in Metta and mindfulness throughout the day, offer whatever merits you have acquired to the Buddha; to all the past, present and future Buddhas. Make the firm determination that you will continue to grow in the Dhamma’s path, to develop wisdom, compassion and all other wholesome qualities until your final liberation.
Then, pray for blessings, guidance and protection, so that you will have the strength, the courage and the wisdom to overcome whatever problems that may arise by bringing them into your path of practice.
That’s how you should celebrate e-Wesak 2020. Do join us in the following:
1. 6 May 2020 (Wesak Eve) 5.00 pm: Puja and guided meditation by Bhante Mahinda
2. 6 May 2020 (Wesak Eve) 7.00 pm Bodhi Puja led by Sayadaw U Aggana
3. 7 May 2020 (Wesak Day) 8.00 pm: One-Time One-Heart e-Wesak and Metta Meditation from home follows by Wesak Message from Bhante
May the Blessings of the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha be with you all always.
May the pandemic outbreak of the Covid-19 virus be ended swiftly. May all the frontline healthcare workers be blessed and protected. May all those who are directly or indirectly affected by the pandemic be free from harm and danger.
May all suffering beings be free from suffering. May those in sorrow be free from sorrow, and those in fear and danger, may they be free from fear and danger.
May all beings be well, happy and healthy.
Happy Wesak to all!
Sadhu, sadhu sadhu.