Saga Dawa is considered the holiest and most sacred month in Tibetan Buddhism. The Saga Dawa month is celebrated to honor Buddha Shakyamuni's life and teachings. It is regarded as a great time to earn merits and attain spirituality and enlightenment by Tibetans. It falls on the fourth month of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar, which for this year starts from 31st May 2022. The religious festivities of Saga Dawa peak on the 15th day when there is a full moon. This year, it falls on the 14th June 2022, the day is associated with three major events in the life of Shakyamuni Buddha – his birth, his enlightenment on a full moon night, and his parinirvana.
Tibetans will visit monasteries and temples on the day with the whole family, dedicate the day for doing koras (circumambulation) of the temples, giving alms to the poor, chanting mantras etc. It is a time for gaining merit, and each year, hundreds of destitute people come up from the plains to McLeod Ganj and line up to collect alms from the Tibetan members of the community. It is believed that any good deeds performed during the month are rewarded with million times greater good karma, so it is a good time to dedicate to all kinds of positive actions.
It is one of the official holidays in a year for Norbulingka, the schools are also closed on the day. So, it is a day spent with the whole family to visit nearby temples, offer prayers and do koras – the circumambulation of the temple. The members of our community will visit the main temple at Mcleod Ganj and make offerings, it will be very special this year as everyone was staying home on the day last two years with the temple being closed due to restrictions at the time. It will be a time for prayers and reflection.
For the Saga Dawa month, Norbulingka community of artists and staff will meet every day in the evening for prayer and mantra recitation. We will keep our supporters in our prayers and offer our gratitude.