SAGA DAWA DÜCHEN
Sangyepa, Nyangen Le Depa
Enlightenment and Mahaparinirvana of Buddha Shakyamuni
15th (full moon) day of the 4th lunar month
18 May 2019 | 5th June 2020 | 26 May 2021 | 16 May 2022 | 4 June 2023 | 23 May 2024 | 11 June 2025 | 31 May 2026 | 20 May 2027 | 7 June 2028 | 27 May 2029 | 17 May 2030
The Most Sacred Day for Buddhist.
In Bodhgaya, India, at the last watch of night, in a single instant, the Great Bodhisattva put an end to the beginningless suffering of birth, old age and death, which comes forth ceaselessly. He, at the age of thirty-five, attained Buddhahood—peerless, perfect and complete enlightenment, and acquired the three knowledges. Rising seven Tala trees high, he announced: “The chain is broken, the emotions stilled, suffering is ended”.
This day also marks the anniversary of his parinirvana at Kushinagara, India.
It is a Dharmachakra day, one of the four 10 million times days of the year: all positive and negative actions are multiplied by 10 million!
His Holiness Karmapa's said on Saga Dawa / Vesak (2018):
"Vesak is an opportunity to reflect not only on the life of Buddha, but on the journey that all of us are on, the path of a Bodhisattva, and the practical steps that it takes to become enlightened. For we do not need to take a leap of faith. Prince Siddhartha did not become a Buddha through some kind of magic or mystery. He became a Buddha through dedicated practice, through being an example of great courage, and this is what I encourage all of us to consider on this auspicious day."
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, shares the following message for his students on the occasion of Vesak 2019:
"In a world in which tradition is increasingly discarded, it is interesting to reflect on the enduring tradition of celebrating birthdays.
Buddhists do not discourage celebrations, though we do not really have a particular habit of honouring birthdays.
When it comes to the way in which many people celebrate Vesak, the anniversary of the birth, death and parinirvana of Buddha Shakyamuni, we approach this moment with curiosity and understanding.
From the perspective of Buddhist philosophy, all of the Buddhas of the past, present and future have not seen an inherent birth. In absolute terms, there is no birth, just as there is no death. In relative terms, there is the appearance of the birth, and we perceive this almost as something from nothing, and it is therefore a cause for celebration.
At the same time, we see an ordinary person like that of Prince Siddhartha somehow transform into an extraordinary being, a Buddha. Again, in relative terms, we perceive this as something from nothing! How is it that a once-upon-a-time farmer’s son can become the historical Buddha? We see that this possibility, this potential, is there for all of us, and again this is cause for remembrance.
Therefore, on Vesak, we perform traditional rituals, such as the recitation of and listening to the sutras; meditation on compassion through samadhi; and charitable activities for those who are in need, in Buddhists communities worldwide.
Practices like these dispel all kinds of disappointments—especially when there is no cake!"