For over two thousands years, Buddhists around the world have celebrated the Buddha’s Birthday. It may be celebrated at different dates on the lunar calendar due to differences in historical recordings, however this day is the most significant day of the year for Buddhists, with celebrations for the birth, enlightenment and parinirvana of Shakyamuni Buddha, the Founder of Buddhism.
The Buddha was born into the royal family as Prince Siddhartha about two thousand six hundred years ago in Northern India, now known as Nepal. Although Siddhartha was a prince, he was deeply troubled by the unjust caste system and the harsh facts of birth, old age, sickness and death. He left the palace and embarked on a spiritual quest.The Twelve Deeds of the Buddha Shakyamuni are:
1. The descent from Tushita, the Joyous pure land;
2. Entering the mother’s womb;
3. Taking birth;
4. Becoming skilled in various arts;
5. Delighting on the company of royal consorts;
6. Developing renunciation and becoming ordained;
7. Practicing austerities for six years;
8. Proceeding to the foot of the Bodhi Tree;
9. Overcoming Mar’s hosts;
10. Becoming fully enlightened;
11. Turning the wheel of Dharma;
12. Passing into mahaparinirvana.
The ritual of “bathing Buddha” will also be held at the ceremony. Legend records that when Prince Siddhartha was born there were extraordinary and auspicious signs heralding his birth: the sky was clear with brilliant sunshine, flowers blooming and birds singing – dragon appeared in the
sky spurting two streams of purified water (one cool and one warm), that gently cascaded down to bathe him. Since that time Buddhists all over the world celebrate his birthday by using fragrant water to bathe the image of Buddha.
This ritual highlights a universal message that “it’s easy to wash away physical dirt but it’s much more difficult to cleanse one’s “inner dirt” of greed, anger and ignorance.”
In honour of the Buddha’s birthday festival, the Opening Ceremony of Milarepa Mountain Statue for Barom Kagyu Sydney will be presided over by Venerable Sonam Rinpoche and Venerable Lama Namsai with offering of butter lamp. Jetsun Milarepa (1052-1135), the foremost
forefather of our Kagyu Lineage, the greatest yogi of Tibet, despite having committed evil acts in his early years, attained enlightenment in one lifetime by practicing diligently and enduring much hardship. Venerabl Sonam Rinpoche will pray for the dedication of the blessing power of the
“Vajra Doha”, the “Song of Realization” to all living beings for being liberated as long as one hears the name of Milarepa, with immense compassion and wisdom, enlighten originated Buddha-nature, surpass turbulent ocean of suffering, and reach the ultimate realm of bliss!
For the celebration of Buddha’s birthday and Milarepa Mountain Opening Ceremony, Venerable Sonam Rinpoche and Venerable Lama Namsai will conduct the prayers on Saturday, 20th May 2017. The program is as follows:
10:00am – 11:00am The 12 Deeds of the Buddha 16 Arhats Pudja
11:00am– 12:00 pm The ritual of “Bathing Buddha” & The Opening Ceremony of Milarepa Mountain Statue
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Vegetarian Lunch
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm Teaching by Sonam Rinpoche –
The 37 Practices of the Bodhisattvas
This ceremony will be held during the auspicious month of Sakadawa, the month commemorating the birth, enlightenment and parinirvana of Shakyamuni Buddha. It is said that during this time, the merit accumulated through performing virtuous activity is multiplied by 100,000 times.
You are most welcome to bring friends and family members to join with us to celebrate the Buddha Birthday Festival of 2017 together.
Download Printable Program