In the wake of the devastating earthquakes that have rocked the city of Kathmandu and north-eastern Nepal, celebrating the Buddhist holy month of Saga Dawa may not seem like a great concern. But for Buddhists across Nepal and around the world, the fourth month of the Tibetan calendar, which is known as the ‘month of merit’, can be a time of great energy, efforts, and offerings for us all.
According to Buddhist tradition, the full moon of the fourth month commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and Parinirvana of the historical Buddha. This day, called Saga Dawa Düchen, is the single most important day in the Tibetan Buddhist calendar. It is said that on this day one can multiply the merit of positive actions to the power of 100,000. This year Saga Dawa Düchen falls on June 2.
The Chokgyur Lingpa Foundation (CGLF), who has been heavily involved in earthquake relief efforts since the first quake struck on April 25, will be hosting a special event this Saga Dawa Düchen. This special occasion will provide an opportunity to commemorate the dead and uplift the spirits of those who have survived the earthquakes.
On the night of the full moon a candle-light vigil will take place simultaneously at the Great Stupa of Boudhanath, CGLF’s mother monastery of Ka-Nying in Boudhanath, Kathmandu, and in all the mountain villages where monks and nuns from the monastery have been delivering aid. Light offerings will be made and sadhanas and prayers will be recited through the night in memory of those that have passed away and in support of the survivors.
To increase the potency of this event, CGLF would like to invite all students and affiliated centres, groups, and individuals from around the world to partake in the vigil. By offering lights, incense, and prayers on this most auspicious of days, and by dedicating the accumulated merit to the victims and survivors of the Nepali earthquakes, all the sangha, in Nepal and internationally, will be united in prayer and intention.
How to Participate in this Event
Please join us on the night of June 2 at 8pm Nepal time (+5:45GMT) so everywhere around the world butter lamps and candles will be lit in unison and our prayers will rise together.
Phakchok Rinpoche’s wishes that our global sangha join together on June 2nd, the day known as Saga Dawa Düchen, to coordinate a candlelight vigil at 8pm Nepali time. If it is possible, please invite a group of people who would like to join in these prayers. And if you have a dharma group or a center, please request that the group come together for this event.
These events should be open to everyone so please invite your local sangha members and also your wider community of friends and neighbors. Organizers should make sure to supply enough candles to provide for everyone or ask people to bring their own.
Prayers and Intentions
Rinpoche has suggested that we follow the Refuge and Bodhichitta prayers along with the Lamp Aspiration prayers as found in the Rangjung Yeshe chant book. We have also included these below. All attendees should be invited to light a candle and make genuine heart-felt aspirations. Rinpoche would like us to dedicate the merits we accumulate from this vigil to the rejuvenation and improvement of life in earthquake-stricken areas and that those who have been affected will have much more beautiful and harmonious lives.
Through this vigil and the offering of lights, may we all be linked to the light of compassion, the light of wisdom, the light of selflessness, the light of love. Let us aspire that all may live in the wish-fulfilling light.
Prayers and Dedications
Phakchok Rinpoche has requested that we recite the following text and that we dedicate the merits we accumulate from this vigil to the rejuvenation and improvement of life in earthquake-stricken areas, and pray that those who have been affected will have much more beautiful and harmonious lives.
Sangye chödang tsogkyi choknam la
Jangchub bardu dagni kyabsu chi
Daggi jinsog gyipey sönam kyi
Drola penchir sangye drubpar shog
In the Buddha, the Dharma, and the supreme assembly
I take refuge until enlightenment.
By the merit of generosity and so forth
May I attain buddhahood for the welfare of all beings.
Rigkün kyabdag lama je
Ngödrub jungney yidam lha
Barchey künsel khandrö tsok
Tsawa sumla kyabsu chi
In the lord guru, the sovereign of all buddha families,
In the yidam deity, the source of accomplishment,
And in the dakinis, who dispel all obstacles,
I take refuge in the Three Roots.
Ngowo tongpa chökyi ku
Rangzhin selwa longchö dzog
Tukje natsok trülku la
Jangchub bardu kyabsu chi
In the empty essence, dharmakaya,
In the cognizant nature, sambhogakaya,
And in the manifold capacity, nirmanakaya,
I take refuge until enlightenment.
Khanyam drowa malü pa
Sangye sala köpey chir
Dzogpa chenpö man ngag gi
Rangrig chöku togpar ja
In order to establish all beings equal to the sky
In the state of buddhahood,
I will realize dharmakaya of self-existing awareness
Through the teachings of the Great Perfection.
Rigpa kadag nangsel marmey di
Rigdzin kyilkhor pejung lhala bül
Rigpey garkyab magyur drowa nam
Rigtong chöku gopang tobpar shog
This illuminating lamp of original pure awareness
I offer to the mandala deities of Vidyadhara Padmakara.
May all beings, my mothers, wherever awareness pervades,
Attain the dharmakaya level of aware emptiness.
Dedication of Merit
Künsang dorje changchen menchey ney
Drinchen tsawey lama yenchey kyi
Drowey döndu mönlam gang tabpa
Dedag tamchey dengdir drubpar shog
From the great Samantabhadra Vajradhara
Down until our kind root guru,
May the aspirations made for the benefit of beings
Be fulfilled this very day.
Sönam diyi tamchey zigpa nyi
Tobney nyepey dranam pamje ney
Kyega nachi balab trukpa yi
Sipey tsoley drowa drölwar shog
By this merit may all attain omniscience.
May it defeat the enemy, wrongdoing.
From the stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness, and death,
From the ocean of samsara, may I free all beings.
Jangchub semchog rinpoche
Makye panam kyegyur chig
Kyepa nyampar meypa yang
Gongney gongdu pelwar shog
May the precious mind of enlightenment
Arise where it has not arisen.
Where it has arisen, may it not wane,
But further and further increase.