Saga Dawa 2019

Saga Dawa is considered to be one of the most holy and important times during the Tibetan year.  “Dawa” means month, and “Saga” is the name of a star which is prominent in the sky during the fourth lunar month of the Tibetan Calendar. Saga Dawa traditionally begins on the New Moon of the fourth lunar month, and ends with the Full Moon on the following month. This year, 2019, the holy month of Saga Dawa is celebrated from the 4th of June until the 2nd of July.  The date of the full Moon, June 17th is considered to be a particularly auspicious day, and is known as “great occasion.”  It is considered to be one of the most important days in Tibetan Buddhism.

During Saga Dawa, Buddhists around the world celebrate Shakyamuni Buddha’s life in general and three main events in his life —  his birth, enlightenment, and death (Parinirvana) 

 For the entire month, practitioners and devotees engage in a variety of positive actions in order to create positive energy, or karma. Tibetan Buddhists strongly believe that all good deeds help to accumulate good karma. The whole month of Saga Dawa is dedicated to making merit, and it is also thought that all good deeds during this time are multiplied 100,000 times.

Some of the ways to accumulate merit during this period include:

  1. Pilgrimages to sacred sites, monasteries & temples.

  2. Giving donations to monks, nuns & monasteries.

  3. Giving charity to the poor.

  4. Offering butter lamps.

  5. Refraining from eating meat.

  6. Saving animals, such as captured live fish, by releasing them back into their natural habitat.

The month of Saga Dawa provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Shakyamuni Buddha, as well as to focus on positive actions, thoughts and words throughout our daily lives.

alex boquist