by ABARA SG on Jun 03, 2023
Dear Ms Devout,
This full moon marks Vesak Day for 2023. You probably know Vesak Day as one of the most important Buddhist festivals – it is a celebration of Lord Buddha's birthday. For other Buddhists, Vesak Day marks the moment of Buddha’s enlightenment.
In general, Vesak Day is also a time to reflect on Buddha’s teachings and what it means to be Buddhist. Buddhists do not believe in a single god who created the world and everything in it. Buddhists believe in the teachings of a man called Siddhartha Gautama, also known as the Buddha.
Siddhartha is believed to have been a prince who was born into a wealthy family in what is now called Nepal in the 5th Century BC. It's believed that Siddhartha Gautama realised that wealth and luxury did not guarantee happiness. So he travelled as a homeless holy man to learn more about the world and witnessed pain and suffering all over the world.
It's believed that after six years of studying and meditation on his travels, he became spiritually aware and reached his goal of finding meaning in life. This is called enlightenment.
At this time, he became the Buddha. Buddha is a title, rather than a name, which means the enlightened or awakened one. The Buddha tried to teach others the methods of awareness and awakening so that he could bring them to enlightenment. Buddhism, then, is a set of methods that helps man use all of his abilities to arrive at an understanding of truth.
Each Buddhist culture has its own traditions for the day, but it is celebrated in different countries, including many across Asia such as: India, Thailand, and North and South Korea. On this day, many Buddhists will go to their local temple and some might even stay there throughout the day and night of the full moon.
Many will do good deeds, take part in chanting and meditation, reflect on Buddhist teachings, bring offerings to the temple and share food with people. A ceremony called Bathing the Buddha may also be held, when water is poured over the shoulders of the Buddha to remind people to clear their minds of negative thoughts like greed and hatred. Families may decorate their homes with lanterns, take part in processions and wear special white clothes to mark the occasion.
For Buddhists, white is a colour for learning, purity, longevity and knowledge. Buddhists believe that if you meditate on white, your ignorance will disappear and you will become wise. So dear reader, do, on this weekend meditate on white in the manner of a devout Buddhist and live life with grace, wisdom and tranquility…
XXX 💋 The ABARA Team