e. Vesak Day (May) 卫塞节 (五月)

Vesak Day or Visakha Puja, is an extremely important day in the Buddhist tradition, for it was on this day that the Buddha was born, and 35 years later awoke to the unexcelled right self-awakening, and another 45 years later passed away into total nibbana. In each case, these events took place on the full-moon day in May, when the moon is in the Visakha asterism, which is why the day is called Visakha Puja.

Vesak Day or Visakha Puja, is an extremely important day in the Buddhist tradition, for it was on this day that the Buddha was born, and 35 years later awoke to the unexcelled right self-awakening, and another 45 years later passed away into total nibbana. In each case, these events took place on the full-moon day in May, when the moon is in the Visakha asterism, which is why the day is called Visakha Puja.
2008 vesak day Respect prelims2 xianjie
Every year when this important day comes around again, we Buddhists take the opportunity to pay homage to the Buddha as a way of expressing our gratitude for his goodness. We sacrifice our daily affairs to make merit in a skillful way by doing such things as practicing generosity, observing the precepts, and listening to the Dhamma.

Ordinarily, to commemorate a death, people cry and lament, wear black, etc., as a way of showing their mourning. On Visakha Puja — which is the anniversary of the day on which the Buddha, passed away — we show our mourning too, but we do it in a different way. Instead of crying, we chant the passages reflecting on the virtues of the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha. Instead of dressing up in black, we take off our pretty jewels, go without perfume and cologne, and dress very simply. As for the comfortable beds and mattresses on which we normally lie, we abstain from them. Instead of eating three or four times a day, as we normally like to do, we cut back to only two times or one. We have to give up our habitual pleasures if we're going to show our mourning for the Buddha in a sincere and genuine way.

In addition to this, we bring flowers, candles, and incense to offer in homage to the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha. This is called amisa-puja, or material homage. This is a form of practice on the external level — a matter of our words and deeds. It comes under the headings of generosity and virtue, but doesn't count as the highest form of homage.

There's still another level of homage — patipatti-puja, or homage through the practice — which the Buddha said was supreme: i.e., meditation, or the development of the mind so that it can stand firmly in its own inner goodness, independent of any and all outside objects. This is the crucial point that the Buddha wanted us to focus on as much as possible, for this kind of practice was what enabled him to reach the highest attainment, becoming a Rightly Self-awakened Buddha, and enabled many of his noble disciples to become arahants as well.

(With extracts from "Visakha Puja", by Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo, translated from the Thai by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 23 August 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/lee/visakha.html.)

卫塞节在佛教传统里是一个极为重要的日子。在这一天,佛陀诞生在世间,三十五年后觉悟成佛,再在四十五年后过世进入涅槃。这三项重要的事迹同样都发生在五月的月圆之日 (巴利文称为“卫塞卡”),所以这一天也因此被称为卫塞节。
每逢卫塞节,佛教徒都会用这个机会礼敬佛陀,以代表我们对他的感恩。在这一天,我们暂时放下日常的事务,找机会善巧地布施、持戒、听闻佛法开示,以便累积我们的功德。

通常,当一个人去世后,每逢到了他的祭日,他的家人会哀伤,穿上黑衣饰用哭泣来表示他们对亡者的哀悼。虽然卫塞节也是佛教徒纪念佛陀去世的日子,但是我们的方式却大不相同。我们不需要用眼泪怀念佛陀,我们会念诵赞叹佛、法、僧三宝的偈颂。我们不需要穿上一身黑色的服饰表示哀悼,我们只需穿着朴素,不涂抹香水。我们也暂时不睡在平时所用的非常舒适的卧床。平常我们可能用餐三到四次,在卫塞节,我们节制用餐一到两次。要真诚的悼念佛陀,就得要把平常习惯的享受都放弃。另外,我们向佛、法、僧三宝供奉鲜花、香和蜡烛。以上所说的是在物质层面的供奉,也可以说是在外形上的一种修行(属于言语和行为的)。
这也就是说还有另一种层面的供奉,就是把禅定的修习作为供奉。这是因为佛陀把禅修称作为最崇高的,是把心锻炼到心能够安稳地安住于心本身,而不会为外界所发生的任何事情所动摇。禅修的重要性是佛陀要我们铭记而常常要专注修行的,因为这也是让他觉悟成佛的方法,也是他许多阿罗汉弟子觉悟的方法。

(本文摘选自阿姜力的佛法开示)

Activities at Wat Palelai
2008 vesak day candle procession xianjie
Palelai Buddhist Temple usually puts together a series of activities to commemorate Vesak Day.

Some of these activities include exhibition corner, Dhamma books for free distribution, children’s artwork section, whole day video screening of Dhamma talks & biography of great meditation masters, opening of the library, candle light procession (featured in left photo), Dhamma talks scheduled to be given through the day. Also, there is usually a 8 preceptors retreat. More details will be announced closer to the day.
 

Video on Candlelight circumbulation 2010.



Programme for 17th May 2011 (Tuesday)

 06.00 am Morning chanting.
 07.00 am Taking of 5-Precepts/8 Precepts.
 08.30 am Pindapata (Alms collection by the Venerables)
 09.00 am Serving rice in the alms bowls
 11.00 am Offering lunch (Dana) to the monks
 12.00 noon
Lunch for devotees.
 06.00 pm
Evening chanting.
 07.30 pm Candle light circumbulation followed by chanting of Dhammacakkappavattana  and Paritta.

 

8-precept Retreat

2008 vesak day 8 preceptors xianjie
Typically, a Vesak day 8-Precepts Retreat would be held a few days before Vesak. For 2011, it would be from 14 May to 17 May 2011. Please click on the attachments below at the bottom of the page to access the application form (including administrative notes) and the program so as to get a better idea of the retreat.








2008 Vesak Day 8 preceptors (people who undertake the 8 Precepts)


Photos of Vesak Days at Wat Palelai




2011
Please click here to view photos taken at the 2011 Vesak Day.

The 2011 photo set features the events and activities that take place at the temple during Vesak Day (around noon time). Including:
- Devotees paying their respects
- Bathing of the Buddha image
- Devotees may meditate on the following while pouring water:
    1st wash: "May I eliminate all evil thoughts"
    2nd wash: "May I cultivate good deeds"
    3rd wash: "May I help save all living beings"
- Lifting of the Buddha image
- Meditative on transience - how all matters come to pass (what we lift up we must put down)
- Distribution of free Dhamma books

   
2010
Please click here to view photos taken at 2010 Vesak Day.

The 2010 photo set features the events and activities that take place at the temple during Vesak Day during the evening. Including:
- Devotees paying their respects
- Evening chanting
- Candle light circumbulation
 
2008


Click here to view a slideshow of photos taken at the Wat Palelai 2008 Vesak Day this slideshow features the 8 Preceptors (people who undertake the 8 Precepts).




2008 vesak day chanting xianjie
Chanting in the main hall.

2008 vesak day Respect prelims xianjie

2008 vesak day lighting candle xianjie
Candles or other lights are lit to symbolise the light of Dhamma which one should find in one’s own heart. It also symbolises the ability to see the nature of the body and the mind after one trains oneself in the Path taught by Lord Buddha.



ĉ
meek freak,
6 May 2011, 08:47
Ĉ
meek freak,
6 May 2011, 08:46
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