Spiritual programme

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Saka Dawa (Holy Day: 9th)
Festival of Lights & Merit
From Thursday, 8. June 2017
To Saturday, 10. June 2017
Location : Mahabodhi Stupa

Saka Dawa – Lord Buddha's Birth, Enlightenment & Mahaparinirvana

Light offerings to Root Institute's Maitreya Buddha statue during the Festival of Lights & Merit
Light offerings to our Maitreya Buddha statue during the Festival of Lights & Merit

During four holy times each year, according to the Tibetan calendar, Root Institute organises a celebration of the most significant events in Lord Shakyamuni Buddha's life, which we call our Festival of Lights & Merit.

Saka Dawa is one of the four holy days when we celebrate the birth, enlightenment and death (parinirvana) of the Buddha Shakyamuni. The Saka Dawa observations take place in the fourth Tibetan month, which begins on June 8 and ends on June 10 this year. The high point of our three-day festival is the merit-multiplying day which in 2017 will be on 9 June.

Any action done during Saka Dawa, is multiplied in its power. Karmic results are multiplied by one hundred million, as cited by Lama Zopa Rinpoche in the Vinaya text Treasure of Quotations and Logic. In addition, it is said that practices done at the Mahabodhi Stupa are multiplied 8-fold! It is a very powerful time to practice and increase one’s commitment to both practice and study.

 
Guidelines of behaviour in a Dharma environment

Root Institute is a delightful, semi-monastic meditation centre.

To maintain a condusive, spiritually harmonious atmosphere for inner reflection and meditation, we kindly ask all our students, guests and visitors to observe the following guidelines:

  • Respect all life: do not intentionally kill any living being, even small insects.

  • Respect others' property: do not steal or take anything not freely given.

  • Be honest and straightforward: do not lie or intentionally deceive others.

  • Be celibate: no sexual activity; this also includes no romantic holding hands, hugging, massages and other physical displays of affection.

  • Be alert and mindful*: avoid intoxicants such as alcohol, drugs and cigarettes; we encourage you to stop smoking while here, but if this is impossible, you can smoke outside the gates.

  • Be considerate of others' silence: keep silence in the appropriate areas and at all times during residential courses, especially in the meditation hall (gompa) and dormitories; no singing or playing music and, in general, maintain a quiet demeanour while on the property.

  • Be considerate of the monks and nuns: dress respectfully; please no shorts above the knee, tank-top shirts, or tight and revealing clothing.

  • Couples: can stay in the same room for two weeks or less under the celibacy policy.

Please be aware:

  • * The Bihar state government has passed laws totally prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcohol in the state, with very severe penalties! Please ensure that you do not carry any alcohol with you in Bihar.

  • Also, please note that those in service or teaching in FPMT centers and projects do not engage in the practice of Shugden.

General information about the spiritual programme

Our spiritual programme now runs from beginning of September through to end of April.

On the appropriate dates in the Tibetan calendar year-round, however, we observe the standard pujas of the Gelug tradition and these are drop-in sessions which anyone can attend. If you are in Bodhgaya and would like to come along, please feel welcome to join us for:

  • Tara puja
  • Medicine Buddha puja
  • Lama Ch'opa ts'og offering
  • Protector puja

Unless otherwise indicated, registration is required for all spiritual programme events except drop-in sessions, Festival of Lights & Merit, and Mahabodhi Stupa events.

To book your own individual or group retreat, please go to Blessings > Retreat – at Stupa Garden of Compassion, through which you can also book accommodation.