Buddha Jayanti Celebration at KIBI – 2019
May 18, 2019
Buddham saranam gacchami – To the Buddha, I go for refuge!
Śākyamuni Buddha, the Fully Awakened One shared his experience of realization with the world, which shaped the course of history and provided a new dimension to humankind to live a meaningful life. Today is the day to recollect his teachings and put his words wholeheartedly into practice.
According to their particular tradition, country, or calendars people commemorate Buddha Jayanti in various manners, yet what they all share is their recalling of the Buddha, who showed the path beyond suffering and who embraced the boundless bliss.
One of his core teachings was that whichever practice one engages in – be it the recitation of sutras, the praying to deities and protectors, or calm-abiding – can only become true Dharma when it is accompanied by the unification of karuṇā or compassion, and śūnyatā, the absence of inherent existence of all phenomena.
To follow the example of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the past, present, and future, Karmapa International Buddhist Institute (KIBI) engaged in various Dharma activities, which were presided over by His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Trinley Thaye Dorje, the Supreme Head of Karma Kagyud School of Tibetan Buddhism.
Thus the celebration began at 9:30 AM by performing the practice of paying homage and making offerings to the Sixteen Elders and offered a maṇḍala. For this occasion, the KIBI resident sangha under the guidance of Ven. Nedo Tenam Rinpoche was joined by monks from Karmae Saṅgha Duche, Rumtek.
His Holiness said, “Happy Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti or Vesak to all the Buddhists across the world. The Buddha Purnima is a very unique day for all the practitioners of Buddha Dharma, regardless of any tradition or vehicle one may follow. Even though one may not be a Buddhist, but it’s a very auspicious day for them as well”. He briefly talked about the significance of reflecting on avidyā or ignorance, which causes all afflictions to occur. Then he kindly gave blessings to all the participants.
After the lunch break, the very venerable Ācārya Prof. Sempa Dorje gave an introduction to Buddha Purnima or Jayanti (in Hindi language), followed by Ven. bhikṣu Karma Sherab’s introduction to the topic (in Nepali). Over 500 devotees followers attended the teachings and expressed their deep venerated for the historical Buddha.
In the afternoon, kheer (sweet rice porridge) and juice were freely distributed at the KIBI’s main entrance. Many locals passing by were invited to enjoy the refreshments!
Finally, in the evening, the Buddha Jayanti commemoration concluded meritoriously with the offering of 1000 lamps and the recitation of Atiśa’s Light Offering Prayer.
Oṃ muni muni mahā muni śākyamuni svā hā!