New Delhi: Buddha Purnima (Saga Dawa), the highest day of reverence among Buddhist communities, was celebrated at National Museum on Thursday June 16. His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje, the chief guest at the event, addressed the gathering of Rinpoches, Venerable Monks, students from various Buddhist schools and devotees who had gathered at the venue to seek His blessings.
Addressing the congregation of the enthralled audience HH spoke on the significance of the day and the relevance of Lord Buddha’s teachings in the current scenario of unrest, conflicts and natural disasters. He stressed the importance and the great benefit of having a perfect example like Buddha Shakyamuni. “This is very important in our contemporary world. I believe that being an example is the only way to really benefit others and bring them awareness.”
Saga Dawa commemorates three major events in the life of Shakyamuni Buddha: His Birth, Enlightenment and Passing from this life to final Nirvana. It is a very propitious day for all Buddhist communities across the world. It is a festive celebration held each year on the full-moon day of the fourth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar. This year in Delhi the spiritual festivities were organized by Friends in Dhamma at National Museum, New Delhi.
The Buddhist gallery at the National Museum in Delhi has historical and cultural significance for all three major sects of Buddhism: Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana. The museum is a haven for Buddhist devotees, as a large number of images of Buddhist deities and ritual objects are on display there. The focal point is the relic of the Buddha Shakyamuni, and Buddhists from over the world visit this gallery to pay homage to Lord Buddha who continues to inspire human beings and be “the perfect example” even after more than 2,500 years.
To begin with, all the speakers and invited guests gathered in the auditorium of the Museum. The speakers were seated at a table on the stage, and lavish offerings of flowers, fruits and lights had been arranged in front of a statue of Buddha Shakyamuni. (Making offerings to the representations of enlightenment is a practice of generosity and helps the practitioner to overcome his own attachments and accumulate vast amounts of merit.)
Venerable monks and renowned scholars gave their speeches, with the address of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa representing the final highlight.
Next, bikshus from Friends in Dhamma and Gyalwa Karmapa’s monks recited prayers in front of the Buddha relic housed at the Museum. The audience was awestruck with the spiritual magnificence of the occasion as the blessings flowed from HH for His devotees and followers.