The Sathya Sai International Organisation is a multi-faith spiritual organisation that has participants for many different faiths. It promotes Unity of Faiths looking for commonality between the faiths, rather than differences. It honours the different religions by celebrating some of their holy days. Buddha Poornima is one such celebration which is observed by the Buddhist community. This year it falls on Wednesday, 10 May, however, groups from the organisation may honour the celebration on different days. Please refer to the flyers linked below.
Buddha Poornima or Vesak Day is an event celebrated by Buddhists of the world to commemorate the birth, enlightenment and passing away (nirvana) of Lord Buddha. It falls on the full moon day in the month of May.
May all beings be peaceful and happy and free from ignorance, desire, suffering, sorrow and conflict – may their heart be full of infinite loving kindness, sympathetic joy, compassion and equanimity, may they be enlightened. – A Buddhist Prayer
Although he was born as a prince, Siddhartha, as Buddha was previously known, became disillusioned with the material world when he chanced upon the sightings of the four inevitable stages of life – birth, old age, sickness and, ultimately, death. This stirred his compassionate heart and he thus vowed to find a way to end suffering. He cast aside royalty, luxury, family and friends and walked a lonely path to his goal. He was twenty-nine years of age. Six years later, he finally found the answer and in doing so, became a Buddha — a fully enlightened being.
Buddha now set his sights on teaching as many people as possible the secret to end suffering. This, he did for the next forty-five years, after which he entered into Nirvana, the ultimate state of attainment where there is neither birth nor death.
The tenets of his teachings are enshrined in the Four Noble Truths: Life is suffering; there is a cause for suffering; suffering can be overcome; and, there is a path to accomplish this. The path is enshrined in his Noble Eightfold Path: Right View; Right Aspiration; Right Action; Right Livelihood, Right Effort; Right Mindfulness; and, Right Concentration.
More than 2500 years later, the Buddha’s teachings are as relevant as ever. In an age where societies of people have grown weary of material pursuits, are turning to His teachings to find true peace. The Buddha’s clarion call to balance constraint and indulgence helps individuals maintain balance in life.
On this Vesak Day that celebrates the birth, enlightenment and nirvana of the Buddha, each one of us is reminded that we should aspire to attain this perfect happiness of body (birth), mind (enlightenment) and soul (nirvana).
Some Buddhist sayings.
‘As a mother with her own life guards the life of her own child, let all-embracing thoughts for all that lives be thins.
– Khuddaka Patha, Metta Sutta.
‘Compassion is a mind that savours only mercy and love for all sentient beings.
– Nagarjuna, Precious Garland 437.
‘Though one should conquer a million men on a battlefield, yet he, indeed, is the noblest victor who has conquered himself.
– Dhammapada 103
‘Let the different faiths exist,
let them flourish, and
let the glory of God be sung
in all the languages
and a variety of tunes
That should be the ideal.
– Sathya Sai Baba
For details including dates of events, please download the flyer related to your area.