2015 Vesak Celebreation @GEBIS

50+ participated in our 2015 Vesak Celebration
50+ participated in our 2015 Vesak Celebration

More than 50 members from several of our English Buddhist study groups on the Island, along with their friends and family members, have delightedly come to GEBIS on May 31 to participate in our 2015 Vesak Celebration.  It is an important day among Buddhists to commemorate the Lord Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and passing into Nirvana.  Contrast to other teaching events and rituals, this Veask Day (sometimes also referred to as “Buddha Bathing Festival”) event also marks the very first of its kind which is solely dedicated to English-speaking participants.

Prince Siddhartha
Bathing the Buddha statue in the form of the new-born Prince Siddhartha, a tradition going on for many many years

On this rainy and relatively cold day right after some recent beautiful afternoons you would vastly enjoy in a typical PEI summer day, many of us braved the weather with sudden temperature drop to join the Festival as planned.  Some had traveled from as far as Summerside with 2-hour drive, not to miss this auspicious event.

A wet day to bath the Buddha
A wet day to bath the Buddha

Some “grudges”such as “wishing today’s weather would have been warmer”, did not seem to dampen the high expectation a bit.   Nicholas, coming into the building a bit wet but with a warm smile, cracked people up by putting it nicely that “we are not just bathing the Buddha today, …”

Nicholas Whalen, among others, reverently bathed the Buddha with fragrance water
Nicholas Whalen, among others, reverently bathed the Buddha with fragrance water

Participants enjoyed the Festival on its well-designed program facilitated by the great preparation work of Buddhist monks.   A few of the participated have just toured the prayer hall today for the very first time.  Following the videos showing the teaching on the benefit of “bathing the Buddha”and how to actually perform this practice, participants have lined up to “bath the Lord Buddha” with full respect and to make offering of candlelight and incense.

Participants enjoy the program well designed for English-speaking people
Participants enjoy the program well designed for English-speaking people

Video clips contribute to further understanding of the Buddhist monks’ curriculum in the monastery, with much focus on dialectics or debates.  It is a rigorous way of training for Buddhist monks to be able to get the true meaning of the classics of ancient wisdom, to realize the true reality of all phenomena, and to put all these teachings into practice.  This, in turn, brings happiness to everyone of us.

See you next Vesak!
See you next Vesak!