Saga Dawa Düchen (sa ga zLa ba dus chen / ས་ག་ཟླ་བ་དུས་ཆེན་) is one of the four major Buddhist calendar events. It occurs on the full moon (the 15th day) of the fourth Himalayan Buddhist lunar month. This year Saga Dawa begins on the 4th of June and continues to the 2nd of July. This is when we celebrate the Birth, Realisation, and Mahaparinirvana of Shakyamuni Buddha. As Nyingmas we remember Guru Rinpoche’s manifestation as Guru Shakya Seng-gé — as in this form he displayed the appearance and all the qualities of Shakyamuni Buddha.
This month is a Bum’gyür Dawa – a month in which the value of kindness is amplified — not merely to 11 but to 100,000. This exists as an encouragement to be different. We cannot always be the kind and generous people we would like to be. It is possible however, for us all to try harder for a shorter period of time. It is an effort we can make – that can have massive results.
These massive results are possible because after Bum’gyür Dawa is over — there will be the residual tendency to continue. This tendency is never lost — and will continue to have a powerful influence. It is based on the enthusiasm we have for Lama Lineage, and Teaching — so whatever School, Tradition, and Lineage you follow — dwell for a while on the great good fortune of having encountered such a valuable situation.
9 Simple Things Anyone Can Do
Here are 9 simple things anyone can do every day this month for the benefit of Everyone & Everything, Everywhere.
1. Remain in silent sitting five minutes longer than is your custom
2. Recite Vajra Guru Mantra ༄།ༀ་ཨཱཿཧཱུྃ་བཛྲ་གུ་རུ་པེདྨ་སི་དྡྷི་ཧཱུྃ༔ each time you change activities.
3. Avoid indulging in blame-fests, harbouring animosity, and fault finding.
4. Try to do at least one thing purely for someone else — from your knowledge of what would be personally helpful, comforting, or simply enjoyable.
5. Try to apply circumspection before saying or doing anything. Circumspection means looking to the benefit of the entire situation rather than the most obvious particulars.
6. Try not to be ridden by the insane ape of knee-jerk emotional responses.
7. Donate money to good causes — even if it is only a small amount. Do so for people sitting on the pavement with ‘nation sacks — even though you are in a hurry. If you have the capacity — plant a tree.
8. Give a total stranger a compliment on their appearance — that arises from your appreciation of colour and form. At the very least — smile at someone as you pass them on the street.
9. Sing Dorjé Tsigdun — the Seven Vajra Lines of Guru Rinpoche as often as possible.
Please pass this message on to anyone — if, you see anything worthwhile in what we have written.
Best Wishes from Ngak´chang Rinpoche & Khandro Déchen
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Thank you for this posting. A wonderful reminder for Saga Dawa and good and helpful practices to employ for oneself and others, perhaps even beyond the month and into the future.
Hello Thomas, thank you for your comment. We are glad to hear that you found the article helpful. Indeed, these practices can be used as an inspiration regardless of the time of the year.