Saka Dawa (Full moon day)
Saka Dawa (The Full Moon), four or eight deeds of Buddha Shakyamuni were considered to be of special significance and celebrated all over the world. Saka Dawa-the forth month in the Tibetan calendar- is the month in which Buddha Shakyamuni displayed the deeds of birth, enlightenment, and Parinirvana. As Indians, Chinese and Tibetans have their own calendars to follow, they do not have a common month to celebrate these occasions. However, this month of three important deeds is important for Buddhists throughout the world. On this special month, all Buddhists, lay or ordained, observe it with the practice of accumulation and purification.
On this day, from generating the refuge mind and generating the Bodhichitta as motivation to the practice of prostration, circumambulation, liberating animals from being killed, and observing vows, all of which are complemented with dedication, people engage themselves in practice with special emphasis.
In the sutra, it says:
“The merit obtained from
Offering to the Buddha in his presence and
And the merit from offering
To the image of the one who transcended beyond,
Are similar if they are done with an unstained mind.”
As it is clear from the Buddha’s own words, to offer to the images or representations of the Buddha has the same merit as offering to the Buddha himself in person. On special occasions like Saka Dawa, the merits generated through prayers and practices are considered to be very strong.