Saga Dawa and Bumkor observed at Tsuklakhang Palace monastery with followers and devotees after gap of two years. The festival is a month long festival which as per Buddhist calendar falls on the sacred 4th lunar month which marks the birth, enlightenment and the Parinirvana of Lord Buddha. For this year began in May 31 and will carry on till June 29. Since June 14 being a full moon, the celebration today was considered as auspicious in which devotes from around joined the celebration at the palace monastery.
As per Buddhist philosophy this particular month is considered as month of merits with Saga denoting the constellation of stars in the fourth lunar month of the Buddhist calendar while Dawa denotes the month and as per faith and believes of Buddhism, ‘any good deed carried in the auspicious month is considered to be multiplied million times. Likewise, similar thought is also towards negative deeds multiplying million times.’
The ecclesiastical department issues a notification stating ban of sale of meat across the state during this month. Buddhist worshipers pray, offer donations, carryout charitable works, light butter lamps, take pilgrimage tours, and avoids meat during the month.
The celebration of Tsuklakhang began with ringing of gong in the morning then after the ritualistic procession called Bumkor began carrying the holy scriptures ‘Pecha’ along with statue of Buddha Shakyamuni, and eight auspicious symbols.
The Bumkor which began from Tsuklakhang Palace took the route of Nam Nang, passing across the MG Marg to much fanfare of the tourists and locals alike, converging back at Tsuklakhang Palace making a circumference of the Gangtok town.
Lhendup Dorjee Lepcha, Tsuklakhang Trust Coordinator on significance of the Saga Dawa celebration said, “This is a calendar event under the Buddhist calendar, unfortunately due to COVID 19, for the last two years the celebration was subdued. This year again we have revived it.”
“ This is the month when Lord Buddha was born, he attained enlightenment and finally his Maha Parinirvana (death). The month marks the culmination of three important events in Lord Buddha’s life. The celebration has been an important activity of the Trust as well as for the Tsuklakhang monk body here.” He added
“It has been a tradition for last many years, the programme carries for three days with the culmination on the full moon day. In the first two days we had prayers, giving away of blessings to devotees and today we take out the scriptures and teachings of Lord Buddha which is taken around town for blessing for the people” he concluded