On Wesak eve, Nalanda founder Bro. H.S. Tan gave a Dhamma talk to usher in the most important Day in the Buddhist calendar – Wesak ‘Buddha Day’. He explained that we celebrate Wesak to honour the Buddha and commemorate His Enlightenment.
And the meaningful way of honouring the Buddha during Wesak is by learning the Dhamma, and practising the Dhamma which we have learned well. When we are preparing for Wesak, there is plenty to do. How can we practice the Dhamma when there is so much activity going on? We can do so by working calmly, mindfully, harmoniously, patiently, with focus and concentration. These are Dhamma qualities, and when we work together in this manner, having consideration for others, and reaching out to offer others our help, we are honouring the Buddha spiritually.
The Buddha taught that when we honour those who are worthy of honour, the merits gained are immeasurable.
buddhe yadi va savake
Te tadise pujayato
na sakka punnam sahkhatum
~ Dhammapada Verses 195 and 196
Verse 195: He pays homage to those who are worthy of veneration, whether they are the Buddhas or their disciples who have been liberated from ignorance and have rid themselves of sorrow and lamentation.
Verse 196: The merit gained by such a person who pays homage to those who have been freed from defilements (proliferation of mind) and have nothing to fear, cannot be measured by anyone, as this much or that much.
So this Wesak, let us honour the Buddha by creating causes and conditions for happiness through proper education and cultivation, so that we may be free from ignorance. When we are free from ignorance, we are also free from defilements, and we will thrive happily.
We thank Bro. Tan for his insightful talk. Sadhu anumodana.