Please join us this Sunday at the temple to celebrate the Buddha’s birthday. The services begin at 10am, but you can come early and enjoy calligraphy beforehand around 9:30am in the Calligraphy Hall.
During the ceremony, each participant will use a ladle to pour fragrant water over a statue of the infant Buddha. This act symbolizes inner purification. It is a universal message that signifies that it may be simple to wash away physical dirt but it is much more difficult to cleanse one’s inner dirt of greed, anger and ignorance. Performing the ritual with a purified mind is a way to vow to improve our inner balance, so we can achieve a wholesome, and enlightened life. This is the meaning of the bathing of the Buddha ceremony.
More than 2,500 years ago in the Himalayan foothills of what is now Nepal, Queen Maya of the Shakya clan returned to her parents home for the birth of her fire child. On her way, she took rest in the Lumbini Garden. It was there, with Ashoka blossoms all about her where she gave birth standing beneath a Sal tree. Streams of water came from the sky to wash both mother and child. After the birth, the King and Queen named their child Siddhartha, and Brahmin sages predicted that if the child would forsaken his kingship to embrace a religious life, he would become a Buddha and be the savior of the world.
Buddhists have adopted the bathing ceremony to annually celebrate the birth, enlightenment, and transcendence of the Buddha.