Thursday, 24 July 2014

Saka Dawa

The fourth month of the Tibetan calendar is called “Saka Dawa”. ‘Saka’ is the name of one of the 28 major stars tracked in Tibetan astrology. ‘Dawa’ means ‘month’ in Tibetan. Saka Dawa is probably one of the most influential and holiest months for Tibetans. Saka Dawa is the special month in which the Buddha’s conception, birth, enlightenment and parinirvana (Death) all occur. The 15th day of the fourth month of Tibetan calendar marks the holiest day in Tibetan Buddhism. On this day, Tibetans consider and believe to perform meritorious activities. The devotees lit lamps, candles and incense sticks before a huge statue of Lord Buddha. They (Buddhists) do pious deeds and distribute food and give alms to beggars. People are also seen donating money as it is believed that good deeds earned in this month are rewarded 100,000/ folds. Tibetans in family perform varied rituals such as reading of religious scriptures, keeping fast, doing meditation and avoidance of speaking for 24 hrs to anyone etc. Buddhists in general and Tibetans in particular prefer to go for vegetarianism rather than non-vegetarianism for the whole month. During the ‘Saka Dawa’ month, the cultural committee of the school organized two day ‘Kagyur Reading’, the teaching of Lord Buddha in textual form. Students from class VII through XII along with staff members sat for reading of holy scripts. On June 12, students were sent for second Saturday outing as the next day is the full moon day or 15th day of the fourth month.

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