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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Visakha Puja: Buddha's full circle reports that May’s full moon marks the time of Buddha’s birth, self-awakening (at age 35), and death (at age 80).

According to Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo, this time can be best honored by following the Dhamma – the way of life that the Buddha espoused.  Ajaan Lee says that even though our father (Buddha) had to leave this world on Visakha Puja, our mother (Dhamma) is still right here to help protect us.  Therefore, the very best way to commemorate Visakha Puja is to align with the Dhamma.

That involves discipline rather than abandon.  It’s relatively easy to pay material homage so that our karma yields us worldly advantages.  Some give generously this time around with the hopes of earning upper-class status next time around.  They are not fully realizing that an “A” class prisoner is still a prisoner.  Better to try and break free of the karmic cycles that bind us.

Ajaan Lee therefore suggests that Visakha Puja be spent in the following ways:  chanting passages that reflect the virtues of the Triple Gem (Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha); dressing as simply as possible; cutting back to only one or two meals; and sleeping on less comfortable beds.  He claims that all of this will foster genuine mourning for the Buddha’s passing.  In addition, he stresses the importance of associating with wise people.

Wikipedia adds that Visakha Puja (aka Vesakha, Vaisakha, Vesak, Wesak, Buddha Purnima, Fodan,
Hanamatsuri, Buddha Jayanti, Phat Dan, Waisak, Saga Dawa, Vixakha Bouxa, Hari Wesak, Seokka
Tanshin-il, Fatdaahn, Visak Bochea, Kasone la-pyae Boda nei) is a time for refraining from all killing, for eating vegetarian food, for assisting those less fortunate, and for practicing loving-kindness.   


Copyright May 17, 2011 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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