Monday, May 19, 2008

The Significance Of Vesak (Part 3 of 3)

Happy Vesak!

(You may have noticed by now the word "Vesak" is spelt either way with "V" or "W". Actually the pronunciation is in-between V and W.)

To-day is the most important day that Buddhists affirm their reverence to the Buddha. Chief Reverend Dhammananda wrote on how to pay homage to the Buddha the proper way:

" The Buddha Himself has given invaluable advice on how to pay homage to Him. Just before He passed away, He saw His faithful attendant Ananda, weeping. The Buddha advised him not to weep, but to understand the universal law that all compounded things (including even His own body) must disintegrate. He advised everyone not to cry over the disintegration of the physical body but to regard His teachings (The Dhamma) as their Teacher from then on, because only the Dhamma TRUTH is eternal and not subject to the law of change. He also stressed that the way to pay homage to Him was not merely by offering flowers, incense, and lights, but by truly and sincerely striving to follow His teachings.
This is how we should celebrate Wesak: use this opportunity to reiterate our determination to lead noble lives, to develop our mind, to practise loving-kindness and to bring peace and harmony to mankind."

His full text is found here:

On this day, it is also appropriate that we reflect on the Buddha's reminder of the second phenominal characteristic of existence, and that is " existence is shrouded with unsatisfactoriness." At any time, anything can happen to us, both good and bad. May we reflect on what is happening right now in Myanmar and Sichuan in China. The wrath of nature has no mercy. So please take care.

(This period you would also notice Buddhist flags adorning temples everywhere. To-morrow, I shall share with you the origin and meaning of the Buddhist flag.)

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