An Auspicious Month…

Saga Dawa

Saga Dawa is the holiest month of the Tibetan calendar.
Three of the most important events in Buddha’s life took place on
Saga Dawa Duchen, the full moon day of the fourth month; namely,
his birth, enlightenment, and passing into Parinirvana.

Tibetan Buddhists regard the full moon day of Saga Dawa as the
anniversary of these three great events. According to Buddhism, one’s
rebirth begins with conception. The birth of Buddha Shakyamuni is
recognized as this day of his conception. On his thirty-fifth birthday,
Lord Buddha attained full and complete enlightenment under the Bodhi
tree in Bodhgaya. On his eightieth birthday, he passed into Parinirvana
in Kushinagar. This is why Saga Dawa is regarded as most holy.

Saga Dawa is also known as “bum gyur dawa” in Tibetan, meaning “the
month which multiplies by 100,000″. Whatever wholesome or unwholesome
action one does during this month has a 100,000 times stronger effect
than at other times. Therefore, during Saga Dawa, it is important to
refrain from harmful or unskillful action, and it is a most beneficial
time to practice dharma, do prostrations, make offerings, recite
prayers, feed and save animals, follow a vegetarian diet, and
accumulate merit by all manner of skillful actions.

Saga Dawa extends from May 16th until June 14th, 2007, in the current
Female Fire Pig Year 2134 of the Tibetan Calendar. Tibetan months
begin one day after a new moon, and end with the following new moon.
May 16 was the first New Moon.

17 Responses to “An Auspicious Month…”

  1. tobias says:

    “the current Female Fire Pig Year 2134 of the Tibetan Calendar”.

    Female Fire Pig Year.

    Who knew?

    I feel compelled to say that this does not help me take this whole thing quite as seriously as I think it is intended.

    But then, I feel that way a lot.

  2. guppy says:

    I am a Female White Peacock– I forgot the element though

  3. Rexfelum says:

    tobias, it often seems the case that profundity and levity are inches away. When this happens in things that are a part of my life, I find that the silliness helps me ENJOY “taking the whole thing seriously.”

    But maybe I’m silly myself.

    –Rexfelum

  4. Saggio says:

    You know what I can’t stand anymore? The trivialization of philosophy in the west.

    Fuck that shit.

  5. admin says:

    “it often seems the case that profundity and levity are inches away”

    … I like that. A good friend and I used to talk about a great mystical force in the universe that we called The Ridiculum – like an enormous pendulum, it swings ever back and forth and sometimes it sweeps a path clear through your life and knocks over everything you’re working on and you have no choice but to laugh and shake your head…

    Saggio… hey man, take it easy. Actually, much Eastern philosophy is oriented on exactly this kind of light-hearted observation of the absurdity of life and existence – try reading some Chuang Tzu sometime (my personal favorite Taoist master). Philosophy is not all doom and gloom and being light about something is not inherently tantamount to trivializing or mocking it.

    In any case, I certainly meant no offense to Tibetan Buddhist tradition, which I happen hold in very high regard. But if anyone is sensitive enough to take offense at a little lighthearted fun, perhaps they are taking themselves a bit too seriously? I rather think the Dalai Lama has a sense of humour and probably wouldn’t be offended or threatened by someone pointing out that from their different cultural perspective, the Year of the Female Fire Pig has a kind of funny ring to it.

  6. Rexfelum says:

    “I rather think the Dalai Lama has a sense of humour.”

    Actually, he does. He appeared briefly in a Public Television special on Buddhism that I saw once, and he laughed at the extreme head-shaving that had to get used to in his position. Yup.

    –Rexfelum

  7. Saggio says:

    Wait, you think I was offended by what you posted? No, man, I’m reading Plato with my philosophy Prof, and your post just reminded me of the impotence of modern philosophy. The side effect of this is that in an attempt to find something concrete or tangible, many people in the west (as my prof says) turn to the East, and the process of trivialization begins all over again.

    In other news, bananas are tasty.

  8. tobias says:

    aha… my mistake, I read you the wrong way there. I think we understand each other (as usual). Especially about the bananas.

    Now, what do you think about asparagus? The germans are simply nutty about it. It’s like the Dawning of the Age of Asparagus over here.

  9. dumbwhiteguy says:

    Asparagus makes your pee smell really bad (not that it’s chanel no.5 on its own), so it has my vote.

  10. admin says:

    Age of Asparagus…that made this post completely worthwhile.

    I shall meditate on this and burn away any remaining Asparagus Karma over the next month!

    And there was much rejoicing…

    :)

    (and if you get that final reference, you’ll share in my glee of having seen the entrance gates to Handmade Films in Beverly Hills with Ian last week!)

  11. dumbwhiteguy says:

    My position on philosophers teachers is this. If they’re so wise, and say they have a better understanding of life, how come almost all of them are complete and total failures at it?

  12. guppy says:

    What is your measurement of success?

  13. dumbwhiteguy says:

    Not trying to teach plato to a bunch of 20 year old kids that are hung over from the frat party who don’t care what you’re saying and will almost certainly have no use for your class. That and my above statement should read “philosophy teachers” not philosophers.

  14. Saggio says:

    You’re an idiot, DWG. Just stop talking now.

  15. dumbwhiteguy says:

    How so, it’s not how much I know about the categorical imperative is really that useful.

  16. Joseph says:

    Link…

    Never get married while you’re going to college; it’s hard to get a start if a prospective employer finds you’ve already made one mistake…

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