Vesak is the name of the lunar month in the Hindu calendar falling in April–May. It is a holiday observed traditionally by Buddhists from all over the world. Sometimes informally called “Buddha’s Birthday”, it actually commemorates the birth, enlightenment (nirvāṇa), and death (Parinirvāṇa) of the Buddha Gautama.
In February of 2000, the United Nations passed a resolution recognizing the Day of Vesak being the Day of the Full Moon in the month of May each year. It was an acknowledgement of the contribution that Buddhism, one of the oldest religions in the world, has made for over two and a half millennia and continues to make to the spirituality of humanity.
This year, the United Sangha (a B.C. based community of practicing Buddhists – monks and nuns from all different Buddhists organizations) will host a Vesak celebration together and pray for World Peace. Pray and meditate together in unity for World Peace, the United Sangha Vesak 2015 Celebration will heighten the spiritual synergy amongst the participants understanding of Buddha’s fundamental teaching on compassion and empathy for humanity.
“Vesak 2015 for World Peace” welcomes everyone to come to share Buddha’s wisdom, knowledge and compassion. The event will also showcase various traditional Vesak practices and demonstrate the Buddhist philosophy of spiritual enlightenment through meditation, compassion for all living beings and respect for our natural environment.
|1:00 – 1:20pm||Purification ceremony and reception|
|1:20 – 2:00pm||Seating|
|2:00 – 3:00pm||Chanting, the Ritual bathing of the baby prince and its explanation|
|3:00 – 3:30pm||Offering of the seven treasures|
|3:30 – 3:50pm||Break|
|3:50 – 4:50pm||Dharma Talks by monastics: Introduction to Buddhism|
|4:50 – 5:30pm||Guided Meditation and Contemplation|
|5:30 – 5:40pm||Chanting in ancient Pali language|
|5:40 – 6:00pm||Break|
|6:00 – 6:40pm||Panel Discussion on global affairs|
|6:40 – 7:00pm||Guided lovingkindness meditation
Performance of the song “Imagine”
Description of program
The United Sangha will purify the place of practice (Grand Ballroom) by doing chanting and recitation of mantra according to the difference traditions. The purpose is to change the energy of the room into a frequency conducive to spiritual practice.
The ceremony of bathing the “Little Prince”
Story: Over 2500 ago, at Lumbini Park in Nepal, on Vesakha Full Moon Day, the Queen Maha Maya gave birth to a prince, Gautama Siddharta, who was to become the Buddha.
The ritual and its meaning: One scoops the water with the ladle and pour it over the baby Prince statue, thinking as one pours the water, one is also cleansing the greed, aversion, and ignorance within oneself.
Blessings and Teachings
It’s about Buddhism taught by monastics from different Buddhist traditions. So that more people will understand the wisdom and ¬compassion expressed in the Buddhist doctrines.
Blessings: Monastics from different traditions will chant in their own language to pray for world peace.
Teachings: Monastics will teach the audience on how to apply the Buddhist philosophy in daily life.
In the busy modern world, many people are stressed, frustrated, depressed, scattered minded. Practicing meditation can help to calm the “monkey mind”, and develop positive energy.
Monastics will provide answers from the Buddhist perspective on how to solve the challenges the society and world face today. Eg. : global warming, hunger, poverty.
Exhibition and Performance
Paintings of Buddha’s life story will be displayed with explanation for each painting.
Performance: a choir of children and adults will sing a song to pray for world peace.
Allocation of proceeds
The proceeds from this event after deducting all the expenses will be allocated as follows:
- 45% will go to the community via charities such as Mt. St. Joseph’s Hospital and Buddhist Global Relief.
- 45% will go to the Saṅgha members to allow them to continue their spiritual work.
- 10% will go to the victims of the Nepal earthquake.