You are cordially invited to join the Magha Puja Day ceremony at Seattle Meditation Center!
Magha Puja Day is one of the most important Buddhist holy days in Thailand and the world. Each of the Buddhist temples around the world holds its own ceremony to mark the occasion. The ceremony at Seattle Meditation Center is one of the important events and will be on Wednesday, February 28th, 2018. On this day we have two ceremonies are Puja Khoa Phra and Magha Puja Ceremony.
(Picture: Puja Khoa Phra Ceremony)
This is our schedule: Wednesday, Feb 28th,
5:30-6:00 PM: Dhammacak Chanting
6:00-6:30 PM: Different Kind of Offering; Flower and Garland to pay homage to the Triple Gem and Lighting Candles Ceremony, Birthday’s month Robe Offering
6:35-7:55 PM: Live Broadcast from Thailand – Meditation & Puja Khoa Phra
8:00-8:20 PM: Magha’s Lantern Offering and other Necessities to the Monks
******** 10 Min. Break ********
8:30-9:30 PM: Magha Puja Ceremony
9:30 PM: End of the Ceremony.
(Picture: Magha Puja last year-2017)
The Importance of Magha Puja Day:
About 2,500 years ago, on a day of the full moon of the third lunar month, the Lord Buddha assembled with his disciple monks at Veluvana Bamboo Grove and following four marvelous events occurred:
- It was a full-moon day.
- There were 1,250 Arahant monks who had gathered together without prior arrangement.
- All of them were Arahant, the enlightened disciple monks, and all of them had been ordained by the Lord Buddha himself.
- The Lord Buddha delivered a sermon called the Ovada Patimokkha which includes the ideology, the moral standards and the conducts of Buddhism.
The Buddhist ideology is the ultimate objective of every Buddhist as outlined in the Lord Buddha’s sermon, Buddhist ideology comprises the following:
- We should be patient in order to reach our achievement. As our life may be burdened by suffering, we should be patient. Furthermore, patience toward sensual desire can prevent us from sensual indulgence.
- All the Lord Buddhas had taught that Nirvana is the state of supreme bliss.
- Monks who kill or harm other living beings do not deserve to be monks.
Subsequently, the Lord Buddha suggested the following moral standards:
- Abstaining from misdeeds because the Law of Karma still controls us. If we break precepts or commit bad deeds, karmic retribution will return to us either in this lifetime or during a future lifetime.
- Doing only good deeds. When the karma from good deeds bears fruit, our life will be joyful, prosperous and successful.
- Purifying our mind by practicing meditation. This is the only way that we are able to attain true happiness and Nirvana.
Finally, he recommended the conducts which his disciples should obey.
- The propagation of Buddhism should be made without insulting or making slanderous allegations against each other.
- The propagation of Buddhism should be made without assaulting or harming each other.
- Buddhists should observe the precepts. In particular, Buddhist monks must observe all 227 precepts.
- One should consume food modestly.
- One should live in a tranquil place which is suitable for meditation practice.
- One should always practice mindfulness either when standing, walking, sitting, or sleeping.
Fruits of Karma:
The act of offering lanterns in homage to the Lord Buddha yields the following fruits of merit:
- One will be reborn in the realm of Buddhism and have strong faith in the Triple Gem which enables one to progress in pursuit of perfections.
- One will be full of respect toward the Triple Gem, parents, and teachers.
- One will have beautiful and powerful eyes which can see afar accurately.
- One will have the divine eye which allows one to see the celestial realms.
- One will have a beautiful and radiant complexion.
- One will have bright radiance and a prosperous life.
- One will be wise both in worldly and supra-mundane knowledge.
- One will not be reborn in the unwholesome realm.
- One will achieve meditative attainment at ease.
Lighting Lanterns to Cultivate Faith and Wisdom:
The light of faith and wisdom that we light up in homage to the Triple Gem represents our faithful heart with the realization in the Lord Buddha’s great compassion towards all living beings. We humbly offer the light to worship his purity and wisdom as he knew the truth of life thoroughly. Nothing could conceal his insight power. As we worship him with respect, we will receive merit in return. The merit from paying homage to the wholesome one will enable us to be prosperous and successful in our lives. The gift of light will allow us to have beautiful eyes, superb vision, beautiful radiance, a bright mind, luminous wisdom, and attain the Buddhahood or Dhammakaya inside ourselves.
According to the Buddhist scripture, there was once a lady who faithfully lit lanterns to pay homage to the Lord Buddha. Later on, her good karma caused her to be reborn as a beautiful lady with a golden subtle complexion. Radiance glowed from her body constantly. Even when she was in the dark, she could see things because of her own radiance. After she ordained to become a Bhikkhuni (female Buddhist monk), she was able to attain enlightenment quickly and went on to become a female disciple monk who was recognized by the Lord Buddha as the one who was excellent in recalling past lifetimes.
From this story, we can conclude that the act of worship to the Triple Gem is indeed the opportunity to develop our own mind by realizing and welcoming the wholesomeness of the Triple Gem into our own heart, similar to opening the lid of a crystal jar to receive drops of clean rain from the sky. We do not only believe in what we do, but we also understand why we do it. This is why the act of worship allows us to cultivate both faith and wisdom simultaneously.
How to Meditate During Magha Puja Ceremony?
- Chant to pay homage to the Triple Gem in order to keep your mind peaceful and calm.
- Light up lanterns with a respectful mind.
- Close your eyes and meditate.
- Visualize a lantern at the center of your body; focus your mind on it tenderly.
- Repeat the mantra ‘Samma Arahang’ or ‘clear and bright’ in your mind over and over to prevent your mind from mental distractions.
- Once your mind is calm and still, use your mind to offer the lantern in homage to the Lord Buddhas.
- Share your merit with all sentient beings.
- Make wishes.
DO’s & DON’Ts For Temple Newcomers
- During the ceremonies, please turn off the audible ringtones, beeps, etc. of all electronic communication devices you have brought with you. If you need to have a telephone conversation, please keep it for the break time.
- Please refrain from unnecessary conversation during the ceremonies.
- Standing up to take photographs is not allowed during ceremonies.
- Please do not point your feet towards Buddha Statues, monks or any other respected objects.
- Women should refrain from physically touching the monks and their robes.
- Smoking or drinking alcohol is prohibited inside the temple grounds.
For more information, please contact Seattle Meditation Center Call (425) 608-0096
P.S. For someone who would like to participate Magha Puja ceremony at our Main Temple in Thailand, please check out the schedule below: