Jun 01

Saga Dawa Düchen

In “The Tune of Brahma”, Shakyamuni Buddha says that by offering lights “One becomes like the light of the world.”

Tara Mandala extend wishes to all for a wonderful Saga Dawa Düchen, the full moon of the fourth month (Saga Dawa) of the Tibetan lunar calendar. This is the most sacred day of the year in the Tibetan calendar, occurring on Friday, June 5. It commemorates the enlightenment and parinirvana (death) of the Buddha.

This year the Tara Mandala community will gather for tsog (ritual feast) and offer Butter Lamps in honor of this special occasion. Please join us in your practice and offerings, by offering Butter Lamps and your accompanying prayers, which will be read aloud during our gathering as we sit in meditation. To make an offering, click on the button below.


On this day it is believed that the effects of our positive or negative actions are multiplied ten million times. May we reflect upon the traditions of Saga Dawa Düchen by engaging in generosity and meritorious deeds. The most well-known tradition that we can practice is Sojin, or Life Release, which is to save lives of animals that are destined to be killed. While this year our activity in the world is limited, we can hold our prayers and aspirations to reduce the loss of lives, and dedicate the merit of our activity to bring about positive effects and even extension of the lives of both the benefactor and practitioner.

At the heart of this gesture is simply acknowledging the preciousness of life. This can also be exemplified through observing a vegetarian or vegan diet, which is a common tradition during the month of Saga Dawa. One can cultivate great merit through this aspiration, while one can create an even larger quantity of merit when adopting an extended vow of vegetarianism.

On the seventh lunar calendar day of Saga Dawa the Buddha’s birthday is celebrated. This precedes Saga Dawa Düchen, which occurs on the fifteenth lunar calendar day. This makes Saga Dawa an incredibly auspicious time, and it is known as the “Month of Merits”.


Shakyamuni Buddha lists the 10 benefits of offering lights

One becomes like the light of the world
One achieves clairvoyance of the pure eye as a human
One achieves the Deva’s eye
One receives the wisdom to discriminate virtue from non-virtue
One is able to eliminate the concept of inherent existence
One receives the illumination of wisdom
One is reborn as a human or deva
One receives great enjoyment wealth
One quickly becomes liberated
One quickly attains enlightenment

May our hearts be touched by the Buddha’s example and our motivations and activities remain loving and inspirational for the benefit of all beings.

~With Blessings,
The Tara Mandala Family

Photos: Header and exterior of Temple (Bodhi Stroupe), Buddha statue at Tara Mandala (J. Brownlee)

gold geometric divider