Christmas is the season of giving, the celebration of the birth of a Savior. Deepavali celebrates light over darkness, righteousness over evilness. What is the universal message of Vesak day?
The significance of Vesak lies with the Buddha and his universal peace message to mankind. On this day, we celebrate and remember the birth, passing and final enlightenment of the historical Buddha, also known as Gotama Buddha. Vesak also reminds us that everyone has the potential to rise above and gain enlightenment.
Before committing myself to Tzuchi, Vesak day would be spent going on a island wide temple tour with Cheryl. My mornings will be at Mangala Vihara (Theravada) joining the congregation in Buddha Puja at 1030hr.
Managla Vihara is a Theravada Buddhist Temple founded by the Peranakan community and the Sinhalese Sangha. In fact the piece of land was donated by Mdm Chew Quee Neo, daughter of Chew Joo Chiat, two famous Peranakan in Singapore. MV is a close knitted community with generations of families graduating from their Sunday Dhamma school. MV is situated along 30 Jalan Eunos.
And then dropping by Shinnyo En Temple(Japanese denomination) to offer a sweet tea bath to Prince Siddhartha.
One of the main activities of the festival is the “bathing Buddha” ritual. Legend records that when Prince Siddhartha was born, there were extraordinary and auspicious signs heralding his birth.
They describe the sky as being clear with brilliant sunshine, flowers blooming and birds singing. Dragons also appeared in the sky spurting two streams of purified water (one cool and one warm), that gently cascaded down to bathe him.
At his birth, seven lotus flowers sprung up beneath his feet as he walked – pointing one hand to the sky and ground he said “in the heaven above and the earth below, I vow to liberate all who suffer in these three realms”.
Since then, Buddhists all over the world celebrate the Buddha’s birthday by using fragrant water to bathe the image of baby Prince Siddhartha. This ritual highlights a universal message of “Let’s cleanse our inner dirt’ of greed, hatred and ignorance so as to allow the generosity, love and wisdom within us to shine forth!”
Quoted from: KMSPKS Vesak Celebration
Last stop of the day will be having some fun at Buddhist fellowship(non sectarian) carnival which ends at 1630hr.
Buddhist Fellowship in its early days was named Buddhist Graduate Fellowship, a group catering to intellectuals from the local universities. BF is one of the earliest pioneers in practicing nonsectarian Buddhism. I was active in the youth group some years back… before BF relocated from Poh Ern Shih to Yeo’s bldg.
Tzuchi celebrated Vesak day together with the rest of the TC chapters around the world on the 2nd Sunday of May yearly. However, this year TC Singapore also organised a Buddhist Film Sharing Session on the public holiday. I will share the link of the movie on a separate post…
On this great day our Holy Prince of Peace, From sorrow’s chain has found release:
Self is no more, banished the clouds of night, Upon mankind hath shined the light.
Recently, PUB completed the redevelopment of Sungei Api Api. During the opening ceremony, TC adopted this part of the waterway, joining in the effort of maintaining our garden city..
Have a blessed Vesak day! May your aspirations be fulfilled 😀