For Buddhists all over the world Vesak is the most important day of the calendar. Vesak is the celebration of the three most significant events of the Lord Buddha. They are His Birth, Enlightenment and Parinibbana (Passing away). Vesak days always falls on the Full Moon Day. It is mostly in the month of May and occasionally in April. On each full moon day in other months too there is some important event related to Lord Buddha’s life.
Buddhists all over the world take part in various religious activities on this special day. These religious activities belong to two categories. They are:
1. Aamisa Puja and
2. Prathipaththi Puja .
Both these types of Puja bring merit to the doer. But Lord Buddha preaches that Prathipaththi Puja as the more noble of the two hence brings much merits.
Some of the religious activities of Aamisa Puja type would be:
1. Going to the temple for worshipping Triple Gems
2. Offering alms to the needy and monks
3. Decorating with Vesak lanterns
4. Singing Bhakthi Gee - There songs have lyrics which highlight the noble qualities of Lord Buddha. The singers sing these songs at temples and other public places with their hearts filled with great respect for Lord Buddha.
5. Pandals with very attractive electric lightings – These pandals would illustrate a Jataka story from a previous birth of Lord Buddha. An announcer would be broadcasting the Jataka story to the viewers through a public address system. By listening to the Jataka Story the listeners would feel a great respect to Lord Buddha.
6. Food Stalls – (Dansal) Temporary Stalls are put up to serve foods for the people. Mostly these stalls are erected at temples or other places where the buddhists would be travelling for the religious activities.
7. Raising Buddhist Flags - There are six colours in the Buddhist Flag . These six colours are believed to have shone around the head of Lord Buddha after his Enlightenment. And fath
There is no offering in the whole universe that one could say to be too precious to be offered to Lord Buddha. He is the most supreme being in the whole universe. Hence he is worthy for the most precious offering in the universe.
With each offering we make at the temple we somehow try to symbolise His teachings in some manner. When we offer flowers to Him we remind ourselves that our bodies decay very fast. When We make an offering of a light with Vesak lantern we pay respect by symbolising how Lord Buddha removed the delusion of mind through wisdom.
Lord Buddha preached living a life according to His teachings would be the highest respect that one can pay to Him. As Buddhists we follow five precepts daily . On a Vesak day we could practice higher precepts like eight precepts and spend the day accordingly. We could make use of the Sil day to practice meditation and listen to His teaching Dhamma. If we spend the day wisely following the precepts then that would be the highest respect we would have paid to Him on a Vesak day.